If you are a fitness enthusiast, you will probably have a few sets of squats in your daily workout routine. This effective exercise works on your lower body to develop flexibility, balance, and overall strength. But even the most seasoned workout fans often do it the wrong way, making it less effective or even dangerous. Fortunately, you can embrace some simple measures to perfect your squats and get the best results without doing a lot. Here are some quick hacks from experts to help you maximize your gains and avoid the plateau with this form of workout.
Master your technique
Mastering your technique is the best way to get the best outcomes with squats. Working out with poor technique is useless as it gets you nowhere and even elevates the risk of injury at some point. The squatting technique has three simple cues- chest up, hips back, and knees out. If you still have doubts about the technique, consult a fitness trainer to show the way. Once you learn to do things right, results will come organically.
Experiment with bar positions
Another quick tip to improve your squats is by experimenting with bar positions. A higher bar position requires mobility in the upper back, hips, and ankles. The position may not be apt for someone with limited mobility. In that case, you can try a lower bar position for better leverage. You will require good core stability for this position. Experiment with different positions until you find your sweet spot.
Use resistance bands
Using resistance bands for squats is another good idea. They help you control the movement from start to finish. When you do banded squats, you get the added benefit of resistance. Squatting using resistance bands offers a range of benefits for different sets of muscles such as the quadriceps, glutes, and hip abductor muscles. It tones the core and back, and you can expect to look fitter than ever in no time.
Work on your grip
It is equally crucial to maintain a strong grip while doing squats. A loose bar grip means that your arms, shoulders, and upper back will also be loose. Conversely, a tight bar grip creates tension across the upper body. The tension combines with deep breathing to create intra-abdominal pressure. It bolsters core stability, and you end up with a stronger and fitter upper body and lower body.
Change your shoes
Surprisingly, the shoes you wear during squatting also affect the outcome of the exercise. Heavy shoes hinder ankle mobility, which isn’t great for your workout. Ankle immobility keeps you from squatting lower and getting a full range of motion. Try warming up barefoot or in socks by performing ankle mobility drills to get them ready. Investing in a pair of weightlifting shoes with a firm sole and elevated heel is a good idea.
Getting the best results from squats may take some effort and understanding, but they are worth doing. Follow these quick hacks, and you will see the difference sooner rather than later.