Check out any workout routine on YouTube and you will find that squats are part of almost every one of them. They not only tone your lower body but also ensure your strength and flexibility. More often than not, people are not doing it correctly. As a result, they are not able to enjoy its full effects on their body, and sometimes doing squats incorrectly can also prove to be counterproductive.
So, here are some of the ways to improve your squat workout and get the most out of your lower body workouts.
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8 Best ways to improve your squats
1.Focus on strengthening your upper back
When it comes to doing more squats and doing it perfectly, one of the first things you need to focus on is building your upper back strength. When your upper back is strong, you will strengthen your core and be able to stay straight while doing squats. In addition, you won’t feel discomfort or pain while doing squats, especially if you are a beginner.
To build upper back strength, make sure that your workout routine includes, superman, pull-ups, chin-ups, and push-ups.
2. Strengthen and tone your hips
In your workout routine, make sure that you target your hip region, that is, your hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors. This is one of the best ways to improve your squat strength. When your hips are not strong enough, you tend to fall forward and use your hips to move your body upwards.
You can strengthen your hips by doing Romanian deadlifts, dumbbell swings and rack pulls. While strengthening your hips during a workout, make sure that you are keeping your upper body straight.
3. Build your core strength
Core muscles generally include all the muscles from your shoulders to your knees. So, if your core is weak, naturally, you won’t be able to perform a squat effectively. With a strong core, you won’t fall forward and you will be able to keep your upper back straight.
4. Develop different techniques
More often than not, when people don’t see the results of squats on their bodies, they try to add more weight or increase the reps. However, if your techniques of doing squats are poor, then adding weights or doing more reps will not help you. You will have to develop different and better techniques.
While doing a squat, you need to keep four basic things in mind: your chest should be up, knees out, back straight, and hips back. This is the basic technique of doing a squat.
However, many fail to do that. Instead of pushing their hips back, they just go straight down which will certainly not render effective results.
As mentioned earlier, to do the basic squat, you will need to build strength in your core, hips and upper back as these are the muscles that you will be using while doing it.
5. Tighten your grip
Many people use bars while doing squats, but the thing is, they are using them incorrectly. If your grip on the bar is loose, then you will not be able to maintain the strength of your shoulders, arms, and upper back. Consequently, you will not be able to do the squats correctly.
If you do not grip the bar tightly, you will not be able to create appropriate pressure and tension across your upper body. The tighter you hold the bar, the more toned your arms, shoulders, and upper body will be. This will help you to do the squats effectively.
When you can sustain that pressure and tension along with maintaining deep breaths, you will be able to maintain strong core strength. Consequently, while doing squats, you will not fall forward. You will be able to push your hips backward and stay upright and safe.
6.Make sure that you change your shoes while squatting
More often than not, trained athletes or professional lifters often wear heels on 10-lb plates. They do so to ensure that their squats are deeper while keeping their body upright and straight, because they may have tight ankles.
One of the reasons why people are not able to squat lower is because their ankles are not flexible enough. They are tight or immobile which does not ensure a full range of motion. The ankle immobility can also be ascribed to the heavy workout shoes and inactive life.
Therefore, these 10-lb heels help people to cure ankle immobility and squat lower while keeping their torso upright. Another way to cure ankle immobility is to do a good warmup barefoot before you begin your workout and perform ankle mobility drills.
Other 10-lb heels that are often worn by lifters, you can also wear weightlifting shoes that have firm soles and elevated heels. These will help you to do squats effectively without making any sorts of mistakes.
7. Make sure that you squat twice a week
When you squat more than once or twice a week, you are increasing your efficiency and capacity of doing effective squats. If you squat twice a week, you can focus on one heavy and one-speed session. You can schedule these squats alternate days in a week.
Doing squats twice per week will help you strengthen your upper as well as lower body and get them toned perfectly.
8. Don’t forget to take a pause
More often than not, while doing squats people just want to finish as fast as they can. If you are one of them, then you need to know that this will not help you. If you are squatting lower, then you need to stay in that bottom position for a few seconds. This will help you to build strength in your lower body.
For this, try to go as low as you can while doing a squat and pause. Stay there for a few seconds. Make sure that your upper body is straight, your hips are back, your knees are out and your chest is up.
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These are some of the effective ways to improve your squats. Once you bring these changes to your squats routine, you will be able to see the results within no time.