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What is the Best Squat for Your Body?

July 2, 2018 by

Have you ever noticed how many different variations people have of a simple squat? How are you supposed to know which one is right?

Chances are, you see a lot of variations of this move. People have differing opinions on where to put your feet and where to hold your weight and even the amount of weight to squat. There are a lot of variables here, but it isn’t too hard to figure out how you should do your squat. The form of your squat depends on your goals and how your body moves.

Here are the most confusing aspects of the squat: the toe positioning, the width of your stance, and your load positioning. Professionals who have worked with many athletes weigh in on the deal with this simple exercise.

Toe Positioning

Are you supposed to point your toes out? In? Face them directly forward? This is a common issue that comes up for the squat. The answer (like many others) is that it depends.

Your toe positioning depends on your anatomy, your training goals, and really what is comfortable for you. No two people are ever exactly the same, so squats are going to vary as well.

Remember that you do squats from your hips. If your toes are pointed out, it means your hips will be rotated externally. If your toes are facing forward, your hips will be in their neutral position. While some people naturally rotate their hips out, others do not.

Also, you have to consider your training goals and background. Standing straight up with your feet parallel is an athletic position that will allow you to generate more power than if your toes are pointed outward. However, with your toes pointed out, you can manage to get into a deeper squat, which has its own benefits.

When thinking about comfort, if you naturally walk with your toes pointed out, you will probably do a better squat in this position. However, if you?re more comfortable standing with your toes pointing straight ahead, then this is a good place for you to do your squat.

Just listen to your body to figure out which toe position is best for you.

How wide should you go?

How far apart should you put your feet? Shoulder-width? Something else? The three basic squat widths are wide, medium, and narrow, and each has their own benefits.

The medium (or neutral) squat is hip-width. This position is great for increasing one’s athletic performance, because it is an athletic position.

A wider squat is when your feet are much wider than hip width apart. Here, your toes are most likely slightly pointed out. This position is great if you want to get some depth into your squat.

The wide stance also helps to further activate your glutes and people can typically tolerate more weight with this stance.

The narrow squat, when the feet are narrower than hip width, is not as popular as the other two because it is a challenging exercise to do correctly. They are difficult to control and easily highlights mobility issues with one’s hips, ankles, and upper back.

Again, you have to pick which one is best for you and which will help you achieve your goals.

Load Positioning

A lot of people hold their weights in a different spot and a lot of people use different kinds of weights. Some use kettlebells while others use barbells. Some of the most common holds are the goblet, shoulder, back rack, and front rack.

The goblet hold, when you hold your weight in front of your chest, is usually done with a dumbbell or a kettlebell. This is the best basic squat to do when you are learning about form. You?re able to balance your weight over your feet rather than leaning forward and having your torso come over your feet.

The shoulder squat allows you to squat more weight than the goblet hold and it requires more control so you don’t lean too far forward. Once you lift your weights above shoulder height, you have to do more work to control the lumbar spine. If you suffer from low back or lumbar spine problems, this might not be the best position for you.

The back rack is when you support the barbell on your upper back. This the most common position because people can tolerate a lot of weight on the bar when using their back and leg muscles.

This can either be done from a high-bar or low-bar position, depending upon if you want to lift more heavy weights or do more reps.

The front rack works the front of the body. Here, your shoulders and chest support the bar. This is similar to the back rack, it just supports a different side of your body.

The squat is a common weight room move that you should be committed to mastering. However, don?t blindly follow what other people are doing. Figure out the move and think about your goals before deciding which method is the best for you.

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