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Squats

A strength training exercise for the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core

Tags: high school, stretches & strength, strength training

 

Instructions:

  1. Stand with feet facing forward, shoulder width or slightly wider apart.
  2. Slowly and fluidly bend your knees and lower the body, extending the arms out in front for balance if helpful.
  3. Pause.
  4. Slowly rise back up and then repeat the action.

Performance Points:

  • In the ultimate squat the angle of the knees will be 90 degrees and the thighs will be parallel to the ground. Squat within your own limits. Lower only to a point that works the quads hard without creating unnecessary stress on the knees.
  • Don't let the hips sink lower than the knees.
  • Keep the knees behind the toes. To help, imagine sitting back in a chair and try to distribute your body weight evenly across your feet.
  • Maintain an upright posture. A slight forward lean is okay, but tighten the core muscles to keep the back straight.
  • Keep the chin up and parallel to the ground.
  • Keep the feet and knees pointing forwards.
  • For greater resistance try holding a medicine ball in outstretched arms or small dumbbells behind the head.

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps:

  • Hold each squat for 1-2 seconds
  • Beginners: 1-2 sets of 10 squats
  • Experienced Athletes: 3-5 sets of 10-15 squats
  • Or hold each squat for up to 30 seconds and do fewer reps

When:

  • Before the main workout
  • Or as a station in circuit training (as the main workout early in the season)

Benefits:

  • Primarily strengthens the quads and glutes, as well as the hamstrings and core
  • A longer, faster, and more powerful running stride
  • Prevents "leg collapse" – the sinking of the knees and hips as each foot lands.

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