Directions: Perform my
exercises at “beginning” of workout
for maximum benefit and improvement.
Pick a safe level; never be unsafe or exceed your capacity to “control” your
as Leg Matrix #1: Exercise #1]
Squats are foundational exercises for leg
strength and core development; however, many people cannot do them properly
because of weak cores, tight ankles and calves, and/or weak gluteus medius
muscles in the deep hips. Remember--the best "free weight" is your own
body weight! If you can't do a proper body weight squat then you have no
business in the weight room adding more load on top of existing imbalances and
resulting compensations. Learn to squat well with body weight--then you'll
be able to optimize results with added loads in the weight room.
Stand upright with feet
forward, feet flat on ground, and finger tips placed lightly on head.
*(Up to 10-15° external rotation with legs and
feet is considered normal, but for the most part, stay square).
Lower into squat as you keep weight evenly
distributed across feet.
Keep heels down and don't compensate by
allowing your toes to rotate out as you go down!
Keep hands lightly on head and pull elbows
and chest back to remind you to not collapse forward.
Stand up without locking knees then repeat.
Tips: Keep feet straight forward and
Keep heels down while being careful not to sit back or lean forward. Make
sure to NOT pull down on your head and neck--keep arms and chest back so you
don't collapse forward. This is the squat that I use for faster sequences
like the Leg Matrix but you can do them slow as well.
Squats are great for lower body and core
but many ruin them by compensating for imbalances. Common problems are
rotating feet and legs out excessively
(compensation for tight ankles, or calves, or weak glut medius, or all!).
If you struggle to control the low positions you probably also have a weak core
as this is a very "balance challenged" position without "the help" of counter
balancing your body with the Olympic bar or machine.
NO--generally deep squats are NOT bad for you!
(Note some people have injuries or limited mobility that prevents them from
safely squatting) Thousands of people around the world deep squat every day to use the restroom,
work, and carry on conversations. Americans can't deep squat well because
we "sit" too much in furniture resulting in core weakness and restricted joint
mobility. So get off your butt and squat!
This exercise is intended for "normal healthy"
individuals. If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical
therapist before continuing your exercises.
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