Squats can be a great aerobic exercise, and they can also help to strengthen the muscles in your legs and hips.  Unfortunately, squats are the type of exercise that seems to be done improperly more than any other.  This is largely due to the fact that people do not get the correct instruction or use the proper tools when first trying them.

Here are some things to keep in mind when doing squats.

Start in the Right Position

Your squat technique should always begin in the proper position.  You should be standing comfortably with your feet even with your shoulders.  Always make sure that your knees and toes are pointed in the same direction, and keep your shoulders back and your chest up.

Starting your squat correctly is the first step in doing a proper squat.

The Descent

When you descend, you want to make sure that you are moving downward into a sitting position.  You want to move your hips back before you actually begin to bend your knees.  If you bend your knees first, you are likely to cause a strain in your hips, knees, or back.

Do not bend forward at the waist very much, or at least avoid excessive bending in that area.  Also, always keep your knees from going outward or inward while you are descending.

squat technique

The Ascent

When ascending, you want to drive your heels down while squeezing your buttocks hard.  Make sure that your shoulders remain back and your chest stays up.  Do not ever rotate your shoulders or hips.  You should also ensure that your upper and lower body is ascending at the same rate.

So long as you keep these general rules in mind, you ought to be able to perform squats perfectly every time.