31 Jan 2019

A Beginner's Guide to Weighted Squats

Fitness and workout advice

Squats. You know they're good for you and you know all the cool kids are doing them. But you also know without proper form, you could do yourself some damage. So, where do you start, and what is the proper technique? Read on to make sure you learn the correct way, with good form.

Why Squats?

Squats, deadlifts and the bench press are considered the 3 foundation exercises of beginner’s weight lifting. As Cassie Lynn Lambert explains it, these exercises mimic movements you use in everyday life while also engaging multiple large muscle groups at once. Essentially, mastering these 3 lifts will give you a great all over body workout and establish a foundation on which you can build more complex exercises.

Before you start any kind of training program or start lifting any amount of weight, it's important you learn the proper way to complete each exercise. As with any other sport, weight lifting requires some training in how to correctly perform each movement, and it will be some time before you have perfect form. Strength training is a big step up for most people, and it can be daunting at first, but you are bound to fall in love with it quickly.

Drop it Like it's Squat!

It's a good idea to get a reputable Personal Trainer to help ease you into weight training, however, if you're feeling confident and have spoken to your medical professional, you can begin by following these steps:

Step 1: First, you need to perfect the body weight squat. Yes, it's boring, but you wouldn't believe how many mistakes you can make doing a simple squat! The focus here is to get your starting position correct: stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees and hips, not your back. Learn how to do this using a chair first, then took it away when your PT is comfortable with your progress. Ensuring your thighs are parallel to the ground in the bottom position is key in a squat workout.

Step 2: Adding in the barbell is the next step and requires more training on technique. Try bodyweight squats for a few weeks before adding weight, remember everyone has a different starting strength and will, therefore, progress at their own rate. Barbell logic does an excellent job explaining the graduation of body weight, to a barbell, to a weighted barbell.

Step 3: Start squatting like a boss! Start with a 10kg barbell then moved to a 15kg and then a 20kg then progress with the 20kg by adding heavier weight. Nerd Fitness has a comprehensive article complete with photos and videos breaking down the whole process step-by-step.

There you have it; all the tools you need to pop, lock and squat! Start with 3 times a week and work your way up from there and in no time, you’ll start to see and feel some gains. Read up at Nerd Fitness on how to calculate how much weight you should be lifting and how to progress.

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