Look in the mirror when you go to the gym. What do you see? Chances are there is a person behind you doing some variation of squats.

They may not be the prettiest to look at, but I’m sure they’re being done. And that person might be grunting loudly!

First of all, forgive them for the grunting. They lack gym etiquette and probably just don’t know any better. Secondly, don’t make the same mistakes that they have made.

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Simply put, if you are a nitwit, squats can be bad for your knees.

In fact, why leave it there? They can be bad for your knees, back and shoulders all at the same time. But I have faith that you’re not a nitwit because you are here reading this and paying attention to me.

Squats only cause problems when they are performed with poor form

Does that sound familiar? It should because it’s the case with every exercise.

I’m not even against sit-ups like so many others are. If you do them correctly, they will work your focus muscle and you’ll be fine.

That begs the question, just what is good form when doing squats?

Well it’s really not that complicated. I’m going to go into detail right now on how to do them correctly.

Remember, always strive for 90% perfection or better, and every situation is safe or dangerous.

squat for knees_2The scene is safe if you do as I say…

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.

1. Keep your feet parallel or toes slightly rotated outward. This will allow you to go deeper if you have tight hips.

2. Slowly lower yourself down by bending your knees and push your butt backwards. Act like you are sitting in a chair.

3. Keep your abs tight and gaze fixed at an upward angle. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor and rise back up.

4. Squeeze your glutes forcefully at the top of the movement and repeat.

Make sure to never let your knees go past your toes when you go down.

That is one of the biggest problems that lead to thrashed knees.

It’s also important to breathe appropriately

Take a big inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.

You always exhale on the exertion of force and getting your breathing dialed in will help increase your power output.

When using a barbell

Do not place the barbell directly on your upper spine, unless you like crushed vertebrae.

Keep it a little lower and pinch your shoulder blades together. Press it against that big hunk of muscle called the trapezius that rests below your neck. It can easily be used for protection.

All in all, squats are actually very good exercises for building lower body strength, size and power.

Use them appropriately and you can’t go wrong. With all the endless variations out there, just always default to the basic form that I described above. It works across the board. In the meantime, feel free to hit me up if you need further assistance.

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