You’ve done them in workouts. And, if you’re a mom, you’re definitely doing them in your daily life (like, A LOT of squats).
Although the squat is a really common exercise and a natural movement of our life, the form can feel difficult at times.
You might be wondering:
• How should I breathe in the squat? Do I inhale when I go down or up?
• Should my feet be facing straight ahead, or is it OK to turn them out?
• How do I get full range of motion in the squat, but still keep my chest lifted?
The 3 tips below are going to help you have a stronger squat, fast.
They are going to help you engage the glutes and the quads more strongly.
They are going to help you connect your core and pelvic floor in a more optimal way.
In the following video I coach you through each of these 3 key cues for a strong and supported squat (they are also written out in full below).
Ps. I filmed this video live on my Facebook page. If you’re interested in seeing more exercise coaching, workout demo’s, and asking questions ‘face-to-face’ (sorta!), you can catch all my live videos here.
#1: BREATHING IN THE SQUAT
This is what I want you to practice:
On the way down into the squat, you’re going inhale. Then, as soon as you get to the bottom, or even just before the bottom of the squat, you’re going to start your exhale breath, and continue it as you stand up.
One more time! As I squat down, I inhale. Juuuuust before I reach the bottom of my squat I exhale, and then I stand to the top.
On repeat through your squat reps = Inhale down, exhale up.
This is going to help you feel more powerful on the way back up to the top in your squat, especially as you start loading them with weight (NOTE: not all rules apply if you’re doing *very* heavy work).
#2: YOUR SQUAT STANCE
This is about how your feet are set-up.
Continuing my squats at 37 weeks pregnant 😉
The women and moms I coach often have trouble with their squat because their stance is really narrow wth their feet set straight ahead. They feel like they can’t get any deeper into their squat, from about this position.
In these situations, I always encourage people to take their stance a little bit wider. Shoulder width or even wider.
Additionally, I like to turn my feet outwards slightly.
This is going to help you to sit back into your bum, into your hips, and get a deeper range of motion.
#3: DON’T KEEP YOUR CHEST UP
The third quick tip to help improve your squat is on the alignment.
I see a lot of squat cues that tell you to be upright and to keep your chest up tall in the squat. Now, it’s something we are striving for, as we don’t want to turn our squat into a deadlift.
Notice how I’m not completely upright with my upper body.
Buuuut, we can take this ‘chest up’ cue a bit too seriously at times. What I see is women really thrusting the rib cage up, the chest to the ceiling, and a big low back arch.
We don’t need to be this upright.
We can allow ourselves to bring the chest forwards in space. You stay tall, but your rib cage can stay down throughout the full pattern.
You don’t have to think that you’re squatting directly in front of a closed door…!
I hope that helps!
For a 4-week workout program that can be done at home, and that definitely gets you squatting, download here.