Squats – For Thighs, Hips, and Buttocks
Squats are a type of exercise that work the thigh, hip and buttock muscles while strengthening ligaments, bones and tendons in the lower body. This exercise is primarily used in strength training with the use of a barbell. This exercise is especially beneficial for individuals looking to increase the size and strength of their legs and buttocks in a weight training program. When performed correctly, the squat is a beneficial exercise, but performing it incorrectly can lead to injury. The squat is also a competitive lift exercise in the powerlifting arena. There are also variations of this exercise as the squat can continue to several different depths.
In strength training, squats begin in a standing position. The barbell is braced across the upper back, mainly the trapezius muscles. The primary movement in this exercise is to bend the hips and knees, lowering the torso as well as the accompanying weight before returning back to the upright position again. The depth of the squat can have an impact on what muscles are worked. There are quarter squat movements, for example, that do not allow the thighs to become parallel to the ground. Parallel squats, on the other hand, involve the thighs and the floor being parallel before returning upright again.
The training level that you will use for this exercise will impact what type of squats you do. Most trainers recommend a depth between the quarter squat and the parallel squat. Deep squatting means squatting down below the point where your thighs are parallel to the ground. Deep squatting is only recommended when you have experience with the exercise, because descending too rapidly or flexing the torso forward improperly can translate into common injuries from this type of exercise. Rapid descent can cause difficulties rising back up and can cause serious lumbar injuries in inexperienced lifters.
There are different variations of squats, including back and front squat exercises, overhead, Zercher, Sissy, Hack, Split, Single-Leg and Hindu. In the front squat, for example, the barbell is held in front of the body rather than behind. In an overhead squat, the barbell is held above the head. In a sissy squat, the barbell is held behind the legs rather than behind the back or in front of the chest. There are a number of squat records on file, including a 948 lb unequipped squat by Mark Henry. The record for the equipped squat is held by Vlad Alhazov, who squatted with 1250 lbs.
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