Exercise! - Squats!




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hhm6
01-28-2014, 02:54 AM
So I have been watching youtube videos on squats, and I think I'm doing them right, but I don't feel anything in my butt region or thighs lol, am I doing them wrong?

I feel like I feel a strain on my knees and feet only but nothing really working my thighs, any thoughts? I do 3 sets of 30 so I feel like I need to feel something right?


Chardonnay
01-28-2014, 03:12 AM
When I first started doing squats (when I was heavier), my knees ached too, but my form wasn't very good, my knees were way over my feet...you probably can picture what I mean. Maybe you need to squat less, i.e. not too low, for a while until your quadriceps get stronger? When I had knee problems years ago, my doc told me to strengthen my quads to take the pressure off my knees.

Chardonnay
01-28-2014, 03:16 AM
Oh, and yes, when I do squats, I definitely feel them in my legs and butt. One tip I learned years ago is to squeeze the muscles as you do the movement, maybe that'll help you feel which muscles are working. :)


CherryPie99
01-28-2014, 09:49 AM
If you feel a strain in your knees AND you aren't feeling it in the butt and thighs then chances are you are doing them wrong.

It's VERY hard IMO to get a squat right - especially when you are overweight.

Stand with your feet hip distance apart - - hold you hands out in front of you for counterbalance. Now stick you butt WAY out behind you - so you are almost off balance - like you are going to sit in a chair. NOW lower yourself down. Look at your knees - they should NOT be beyond your toes!

Jen

Defining
01-28-2014, 02:13 PM
Depends on loads of different factors. How deep are you squatting? What position are your feet in? Are you using a hip hinge movement (ie. folding at hips first, which is healthy) or leaning/hunching forward to get your body closer to the ground? Do your heels come up when you're at the bottom of the squat? Are you using weights with your squats, or just bodyweight? How's your flexibility in hip flexors/ankle dorsiflexion/knees/lower back in general?

Try doing a few squats in front of a mirror, and watch your alignment from the side as you squat - then compare your movement to the videos/diagrams you're using. Do they match? Pay close attention to your hip movement and knee placement (like CherryPie mentions) as well as how low your bum gets - the top of your leg should ideally be parallel to the floor.

If you're not hitting those cues, keep watching yourself in the mirror and go slowly to make sure you're being mindful of what position your body is in. You're almost always much better off to do 5 squats with good form than 30 quasi-squats.

And have fun! :)

hhm6
01-28-2014, 04:38 PM
Oh yikes, I'm definitely doing them wrong then, my knees are always coming forward (past my toes) so weird because I swear I'm doing it right, good call for checking in front of a mirror!

My thighs are KILLING me today!! Can barely walk up or down the stairs but I guess that good, I'm sure it's from running though, not the squats.

Do you guys think 3 sets of 30 is good? Assuming I'm doing them right? I want to get on a "squat" schedule for the next 3 months (I have a wedding to go to and my outfit is really really open) so I want to tone up even if my weight doesn't go down.

Would love to hear suggestions! I'm basically jogging 1.5 miles and then I do 50 jumping jacks, 60 sec plank, 20 kettlebell swings, 30 squats, and then repeat 3x-I do this every other day. I modified a version I found on Jen Selter's facebook lol

Chardonnay
01-28-2014, 05:55 PM
I think you're routine is fine :) I only do 3 sets of 12 at the gym, but I also do other leg exercises there so it's more than enough for me. Do you stretch after your routine? That should help with the pain a little bit. During the cold Laurentian winters, I used to do all my workouts at home to avoid going out in the cold! Keep it up! :)

Wannabeskinny
01-31-2014, 04:07 PM
When I was in physical therapy my trainer showed me how to do squats. Good advice from Cherrypie. To add on, when you're doing the squats make sure to keep your abs tight, this will engage your core. And when you come up squeeze your butt. That's key :) There are also variations of squat depending on where you keep your feet. You can keep your feet hip width apart, or put your feet together, or point your toes outwards, do a set of each.

hhm6
02-05-2014, 06:31 PM
When I was in physical therapy my trainer showed me how to do squats. Good advice from Cherrypie. To add on, when you're doing the squats make sure to keep your abs tight, this will engage your core. And when you come up squeeze your butt. That's key :) There are also variations of squat depending on where you keep your feet. You can keep your feet hip width apart, or put your feet together, or point your toes outwards, do a set of each.

Awesome, thanks Wannabeskinny! I'll have to keep that in mind. In all honestly I haven't done squats since I made the original post, I was so sore I couldn't even walk to class! Thanks for all the tips!

cdavidowsky37
02-06-2014, 04:42 PM
Something else to keep in mind when doing squats is to keep your weight on your heels rather than your toes. That way you'll focus on the back of your legs and target the muscles more.

The other advice from above is really awesome too. I like to look up at the ceiling (as much as possible) in order to keep my chest up, so I'm not just bending down halfway through my set. Hope these help!

hhm6
02-06-2014, 04:53 PM
So when I was trying to squat today, something really odd happened. I felt the side of my feet were falling to the sides? Weirdest thing ever, I thought it was my thin socks so I had more room in my shoes, so I changed them, still same thing. Ugh Why is a squat so hard to get right!

I had a friend recommend the squat Jillian Michaels does in her 30DS, where you have two weights (small ones), squat, then come up, pull together the weights above and back down to a squat, would those be better? Someone else mentioned doing them without shoes, but that just doesn't feel right either.

Ohh I haven't tried looking at the ceiling, maybe I will try that later tonight, thanks guys! really appreciate the help!! You'd think I would have this down by now!

Wannabeskinny
02-06-2014, 05:00 PM
I wouldn't try using weights, do it without adding things first. Keep your feet planted and engage your core. Part of doing squats is keeping your balance. I'm sure you're doing fine, it's not supposed to feel rights per se, it's supposed to be a little challenging and it will get better of you keep at it. And don't overthink it.

hhm6
02-06-2014, 05:07 PM
I wouldn't try using weights, do it without adding things first. Keep your feet planted and engage your core. Part of doing squats is keeping your balance. I'm sure you're doing fine, it's not supposed to feel rights per se, it's supposed to be a little challenging and it will get better of you keep at it. And don't overthink it.

Balance is definitely a problem for me, I think it comes from having bad knees, but I always feel like the pressure is on my knees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXJrBgI2RxA

This video, when she goes down around 1:30, is when my knees want to crash, is that normal?

katerina11
02-06-2014, 06:19 PM
http://youtu.be/zqj1qjIA6E0

^^^ better video on how to perform a squat.

if you don't hit at least parallel, then it's harder on the knees. that seems counter intuitive, but it's the truth, hitting at least parallel means that your glutes and hamstrings engage automatically in order to bring yourself up.

i have been studying how to squat for almost two years now, and still have issues. you are smart to keep with body weight squats until you can perform them without pain. muscle soreness or feeling your muscles engage is one thing. strained adductors, ankle pain, back pain or knee pain? no good!

if your knees are caving in when you start back up out of the hole, likely the adductors are weak. they will strengthen with consistent squatting.

nads84
02-06-2014, 10:16 PM
this guy is awesome at explaining the biomechanics of the squat:

http://bretcontreras.com/squat-biomechanics-butt-wink-what-is-it-what-causes-it-how-can-it-be-improved/

Also has great articles/advice on glute training.

Defining
02-26-2014, 01:38 PM
Another nifty article for our squatting practice :)

http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/squats-and-hip-dysfuction-2-common-problems-and-how-to-fix-them

sarahjane.huber
02-26-2014, 02:10 PM
For me it helped to use a chair at first. That way you can get the form down and build strength.