There are certain types of staple exercises like lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, and regular squats, that everyone should be able to do. But if you think you’re a total pro already, then you should listen to what Niko Algieri, a personal trainer to the stars has to say about the way you’re doing squats versus how you should actually be doing them.
It’s Not So Simple
Squats may seem like the simplest form of exercise. But Niko Algieri is here to tell you that performing a squat correctly involves moving your body and engaging certain muscles the right way, which is more complex than it sounds. As a matter of fact, keeping the wrong form could cause some serious damage to your joints.
The Trainer To The Stars
Algieri is the co-founder and director of Equilibrium, which has recently opened a new fitness studio in London. He’s personally trained big names like Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, and Nicole Scherzinger. Algieri is also a level 3 qualified personal trainer and has a level 1 CrossFit Certification, TRX Suspension training
One Of His Ultimate Pet Peeves
It turns out that many of us think we’re doing squats correctly, but Algieri could go on and on about the mistakes people make with their squats but they’re not the only ones. Personal trainers and coaches also make mistakes when squat coaching and it’s one of his ultimate pet peeves. He told Insider, “I could go on for days on the mistakes people and trainers are making in their squats and squat coaching.”
Trainer-Booking App Founder Weighs In
Tim Hayes, a personal trainer and the founder of Peach, a personal trainer-booking app, weighed in on the topic. He suggests people start asking themselves why they want to squat before doing it. He recommends they take into account their injuries, pain, physiology, and goals. He said, “Your goals, physiology, and track record of injuries and pain should all be taken into account, and it’s best to consult a qualified fitness practitioner before embarking on an exercise programme.”
Pay Attention To Physical Sensations
Hayes, who earned a diploma in Sports Science and has specialist credentials in Corrective Exercise, Core Conditioning, and functional biomechanics, suggests you ask yourself if it burns your quads or backside when you squat. If your goal is to build your glutes, then pay attention to the sensation you feel when you do squats.
The Common Mistakes We Make
According to Algieri, people tend to lean forward with too much bending at the hips. We also allow the knees to collapse inwards or keep knees in line with our toes, which hurts the knees while preventing the glutes from getting the proper workout. We also raise our shoulders to our ears, which doesn’t allow our core to activate. In some cases, we don’t squat low enough because we lack mobility in the hip flexors.
The Right Way Of Doing Squats
Algieri recommends standing with feet slightly past hip-width apart. Keep the arms to the side and the spine neutral to engage the core. Then bend simultaneously at the hips, knees, and ankles. Also, make sure the weight is evenly distributed throughout the whole foot. Don’t allow the pelvis to tilt as you sit low enough for your hip crease to dip below the knee. Then go up and squeeze the glute to keep your core engaged. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can add weights to push your body even more and get better results.
And if you’d like to keep Algieri’s squat tips handy, then here’s the list of steps he wrote on his Instagram post:
1. Knees out wider than
2. Heels down.
3. Use arms out to
4. Weight spread evenly throughout the foot.
5. Very slight lean forward, chest matching angle of shins.
6. Do more squats. They’ll change your life.
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