This is the flagship exercise for strengthening the lower body. The squat is an essential bodybuilding exercise. But for quick results, it has to be done right. Anouk Garnier, sports coach takes stock of this timeless sport on the show Well done for you. “The goal of the squat is to strengthen the whole lower body, so the thighs, the front of the thighs, the back of the thighs, the inside, the glutes. And if you put a load, you can also work your abs and your back. So it’s really the complete exercise par excellence”, begins by explaining the professional.
The benefits of the full squat
But the squat has many other strings to its bow. According to the coach, it also allows you to work on your joint health, especially during full squats. A full squat, also called deep squat, is a squatting position with the knees apart and the bust straight. It is recommended for “joint mobility”, therefore to avoid having pain, but also to have the most complete amplitudes possible.
“That is to say, being able to bring your knee to your chest without feeling small pains, pinching”, specifies Anouk Garnier. “When you get older, you lose that mobility little by little, but you absolutely have to maintain it and work on the elasticity of those tissues and the squat. The squat is excellent for that because you work the ankle, the knee, the hip .”
The squat, step by step
To achieve a “perfect squat”, you have to spread your feet about shoulder level and push your toes slightly outward. Then, you will have to try to lower your buttocks as low as possible by getting closer to the ground and then go up slowly. “You just have to, when you’re down, check that your heels stay on the ground,” adds the coach. “And the second thing to check, very important, is your knees.” They must be in line with the toes. Finally, it is necessary to straighten the chest.
How many times should the movement be repeated? “It simply depends on the muscles you want to work,” replies Anouk Garnier. But it also depends on your physical condition. “If you start with sets of 20 squats, it’s going to be complicated and you’re going to be in pain the next day.” To start, it is best to do between five and ten, in three sets in a row.
Is it dangerous in case of false movement?
There is no contraindication for performing squats, everyone can do them. It is only necessary to pay attention to the speed of the movement.
“There is a belief: if you go down very low on the squat, it hurts your knee. Imagine it’s the opposite! If you stop at half amplitude, that’s where the pressure is more important in the middle of the buttocks”, points out the coach. Good for your health, good for the gluteal muscles, she advises to do a little every day. “Go ahead, it takes 30 seconds!”