If you’re over 50 and haven’t worked out in a while mastering the squat may be somewhat of a challenge but it’s first on the list for a very good reason.
Builds and strengthens the foundation – Squats target the largest muscle group of the body, the quads or thighs and glutes or butt. These muscles are called into use every day in normal activities that require lifting, pulling or pushing. They’re also important for maintaining balance. Strengthening these groups of muscles may help prevent falls and as an added bonus can help prevent osteporosis or porous bones that sometimes occurs when the bones grow weak with aging and become more susceptible to fractures and breaks.
Okay, so what’s the proper way to perform a squat?
- At first for balance place a chair in front of you facing forward and place your hands on the back of the chair. You can also place a chair directly behind to prevent a fall when you go down and to keep the beginner from going down too far
- You should be standing with feet about shoulder width apart
- Your chest and stomach should be straight up and down with a slight curve in your back
- Bend your knees, at first go only as far as you comfortably can, the goal is to eventually be able to go down until your thighs are a little past parallel to the floor.
- Only using your legs, push back to the starting position. Use your grip on the chair only for balance unless you absolutely need to pull yourself up.
- When you get better at it you will no longer need the chair. At this point you may even add some weight for more resistance.
- For weight, use two milk jugs, dumbbells or whatever holding them at your sides as you squat.
Here is a great video showing the way it’s done.