The bodyweight squat is a lower body strengthening exercise that can be performed virtually anywhere with no equipment and limited space. It’s a highly functional movement working all the major muscles of the legs.
1. Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
2. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back. It’s important to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
3. Extend arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down.
4. Initiate the movement by bending the knees and send your hips backward as if you are going to sit down on a chair that’s behind you.
5. Make sure your chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
6. Squat to where your mobility allows. Optimal squat depth would be your hips sinking below the knees (again, if you have the flexibility to do so comfortably). Otherwise, aim for knees and hips at 90 degrees.
7. Engage core and, with bodyweight in the heels, control the movement back up to standing, driving through heels.
8. Don’t forget to breath. Inhale to lower the body into the squat and exhale to return to standing.
4 sets; 8 reps; 60 secs rest between sets