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Squats

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

Tags: middle 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 forward.
  • Beginners might benefit from squatting against a wall for support until they build the leg and core strength to do the exercises on their own.

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps:

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

When: Before the main workout

Benefits:

  • Primarily strengthens the quads and glutes, as well as the hamstrings and core, for a longer, faster, and more powerful running stride, while also preventing "leg collapse" – the sinking of the knees and hips as each foot lands

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