Squats are on almost everyone’s rotation of fast, effective exercises. However, they can also teach mindfulness and leave you with a feeling of Zen. Squats are also an amazing full-body exercise, but you have to use proper squat form to get results. Proper form not only targets the parts that see the most benefit from squats – core and glutes – the act of performing these moves enhances balance and focus.

What is Correct Squat Form?

This exercise is actually a series of slow, fluid motions that, performed in one coordinated move, works more than 200 muscles and increases fat burning by up to 20%. Begin by standing straight, hands on hips, chin up and looking straight ahead, feet a shoulder’s width apart. Lower your body, but don’t bend your knees; the bend should begin at the hips.

As you lower your body, you should begin to raise your arms straight out in front of you. Your arms should be out straight and at shoulder level at the same time the your lower body reaches a 45-degree bend at your knees. As you stand straight again, you should begin to lower your arms so your whole body reaches the starting posture at the same time.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make Doing Squats?

Some people think they can’t do squats because it will cause or exacerbate back and knee problems. However, by avoiding a few common mistakes, you can actually strengthen those areas as well as other muscle groups. It starts with balance. All of your weight should be on your heels, not the balls of your feet. This helps your upper body remain upright and gives your booty a nice workout.

Rather than leaning forward or arching your back, focus on keeping your back straight and your upper body as tall as possible. Also, as you lower your body, don’t sink straight down, push your hips and bottom back as if you’re reaching for the seat of a chair.

Done slowly and with proper form, squats can be almost hypnotic. That’s especially true if you focus on a point straight ahead in the distance and breath slowly. Breaths should be drawn in through the nose as your lower and exhaled slowly through the mouth as you rise, emitting all breath by the time you’re back at your beginning posture. It’s a wonderful way to really feel grounded and completely in your body instead of stuck in your head.

Squats Are Good For More Than Just Your Body