We all do squats. Sit down. Stand up. Voila! A squat! Now we just need to work on form a little.
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, or a little wider. Take a moment to think about posture. Is your head right over your shoulders? Are your shoulders right over your hips? What are your abs doing? Is your weight balanced evenly on both feet?
Now sit back as if you were going to land on the edge of an imaginary chair. Unfortunately, it is a chilly imaginary chair, so you don’t want to stay sitting on it. Engage those behind muscles and stand back up, making sure that your hips end up in line with your shoulders again at the top.
On the way down, you should feel work happening in the front of your thighs. On the way up, your behind has to kick in, especially to get the pelvis back in line. Your upper body will tilt forward as you sit back, but don’t let it go too far; think about keeping your back parallel to your shins (you can see this in my extremely lovely drawing, right?).
Squats are pretty much the ultimate in practical exercise. We need to use our squat skills every day, more often if we are drinking enough water, ladies, and if we are getting enough fiber, gents. As we get older, the ability to squat is a major factor in how long we get to live independently. Before that, squatting is also good for improving how we look in our jeans. It challenges our balance, strengthens our lower body, and improves our connection with our abdominals. Again, no equipment required!