Without the slightest doubt, the most important resistance exercise to perform is the Squat. Though for a number of years the Squat became oddly unfashionable and was replaced by a bevy of machines but of the positive changes in the exercise and sport conditioning sector the last decade as been a renaissance of the great movement. While there is still considerable room to grow throughout the mainstream, with exercise facilities typically requiring more space and racking dedicated racks for Squats the groundswell is building. The key for this to occur is to teach proper technique by ensuring adequate educational sources are available in an open manner such that all who exercise utilize Squats on a highly regular basis.
Squats are a movement that have an effect on virtually aspect of generalised strength training, as well as overall physical conditioning and can be performed with enormous variation to suit specific goals. The movement is not exclusive to hard edged athletes, bodybuilders or strength-athletes and there is no corner of the public that will not benefit from performing Squats on a regular basis.
Those who have considered Squats in the past as “dangerous” fail to understand how to perform the movement correctly and thus fundamentally wrong in their assumption. Squats are neither dangerous nor harmful on joints when performed properly and any concern otherwise is due to poor coaching and the lack of high quality educational tools available to the marketplace.
There are considerable variations to Squats and I strongly encourage all exercise enthusiasts, regardless of your goals, to utilize as many as possible to derive the full benefit of the movement. Within a very brief listing of Squat styles, the following five are standard approaches used within all of my programs:
- Olympic Squat
- Power (Wide “Powerlifting”) Squat
- Overhead Squat
- Front Squat
- Hi-Box Step-Up
This is addition to other styles such as the Zercher Squat, Belt Squat, Box Squat, Reverse Box Squat and Cossack Squat, Lunge patterns or other single-leg work such as Bulgarian Squats, Renegade Squat-Pull or Russian Split Jump can be deployed depending on individual need as well as managing concerns of assimilation to exercise.
Once an individual is competent in the basic Squat, noted by their ability to perform with proper posture while under duress and elicit movement correctly, further shifts in the training model can occur that involve speed of the movement and starting position. This can vary from general use of “dive” or auditory commands, concentric and pause Squats or mediums that change tension such as resistance bands, weight vests, weight releases or chains to name a few.
Prior to considering the more intermediate or complex aspects of Squats it is important to learn the movement correctly, to which I implore all readers to evaluate their present technique and ensure it is at optimal level. It is imperative to learn proper mechanics of the Squat and review regularly as it is the basis of all well balanced resistance programs. To do so we will borrow upon the new USPlabs | Ultra Premium Supplements Video Educational Library.
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