How To Squat | Krissy Cela

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How To Squat | Krissy Cela

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Hey Familia!


I hope everyone is well!

Today I wanted our focus to be on compound exercises and the benefit of incorporating them into your workout regime. For me, no leg or back day is complete without at least one compound exercise. 

WHAT IS A COMPOUND EXERCISE? 

Essentially, compound exercises are those which use more than one joint or muscle group at the same time. 

These include: 

• Deadlifts 


• Incline bench press 


• Decline bench press 


• Squats 


• Standing Military Press 


• Lunges 


• Pull ups 


WHEN SHOULD COMPOUND EXERCISES BE USED? 


Compound exercises can be used throughout your workout regime. They will help with the improvement of your athletic performance, strength, power and even weight loss. Compound exercises are also great because you are targeting more muscle fibres with each lift, which means you are going to be spending less time in the gym. 


For the purpose of this blog, we will be focusing on how to perform a variation of deadlifts and a barbell squat. I know a lot of people feel uncomfortable when performing these exercises at the gym because they fear they may not be performing them correctly. If you do feel like this, please make sure you ask a personal trainer at your gym, do your own research to be 100% sure and also have a little read of this blog! 


Romanian Deadlift 

1) Start by finding a weight that you will be able to lift, please make sure you do not go for anything too heavy as you do not want to sacrifice your form. Step to the bar with your feet about shoulder width apart. 

2) Hold the bar with your palms facing down. As you can see, my knees are bent, so I can lift the weight up to begin with. My back is nice and straight with my spine and head kept at a neutral position. 

3) Hold the bar by your hips. Be sure to keep the bar close to your legs; you want to be lifting with your hamstrings instead of lifting the weight primarily with your back. This will also avoid any arching. 

4) Lower the bar by moving your glutes back. Keep the bar close to your body with a slight bend to your knees. You should feel a stretch by your hamstrings. If this exercise is performed correctly you will reach the maximum range of your hamstring flexibility just below the knee. 

Sumo Deadlift

1) Start by finding a weight that you will be able to lift, please make sure you do not go for anything too heavy as you do not want to sacrifice your form. Step to the bar with your feet underneath the bar. You want to stand further than shoulder width apart for this exercise, with your feet pointed outwards. 

2) Hold the bar with one reversed grip handle and the other neutral. Your hands should be positioned inside your legs. Make sure your back is kept straight at all times. Some people feel like they are in a squat position when performing this exercise. However, make sure you are engaging your hamstrings at all times. 

3) Lift the weight up and hold the bar by your hips. Make sure you keep the bar close to your legs, so you are lifting with your hamstrings instead of lifting the weight primarily with your back. This will also avoid any arching. Contract your glutes at the top, but do not hyperextend your back. 

Conventional Deadlift 

1) Start by finding a weight that you will be able to lift, please make sure you do not go for anything too heavy as you do not want to sacrifice your form. Step to the bar with your feet about shoulder width apart. 

What I want you to remember here is, everyone’s feet positioning will vary as we are all unique. If you feel more comfortable with your feet slightly wider apart that is completely fine! 

2) Hold the bar so your hands are positioned just outside your shins, but make sure it is not too wide. Hinge your hips to lower yourself. Your shoulders should be over the bar with your back kept straight at all times. 

3) Lift the weight up and hold the bar by your hips. Make sure you keep the bar close to your legs, so you are lifting with your hamstrings instead of lifting the weight primarily with your back. This will also avoid any arching. Make sure your chest is nice and lifted. 

4) Keeping the weight close to your body bend your knees and lower the weight. Please make sure you are keeping your back straight at all times. A good tip is to imagine you are about to sit down, so push those glutes back! 

Barbell Squats

1)  Start by finding a weight that you will be able to lift, please make sure you do not go for anything too heavy as you do not want to sacrifice your form. I would advise you to use a squat rack here to help you load and unload your weight. Make sure you also use safety bars to avoid any injury. 

2)  Your feet should be positioned further apart than shoulder width with your feet very slightly pointed outwards. You need to find your own feet placement as everyone is unique. 


3)  Adjust the grip of your hands but try to keep your hands tightly placed onto the bar 


4)  Raise your chest and engage your core by contracting. 


5)  Your back should be straight at all times with a neutral head. 


6)  Lower your body whilst keeping your back straight. 


7)  Push your glutes back so your knees are not too far over your toes. 


8)  Keep your chest lifted and your core engaged at all times. 


9)  Squat back up and repeat the process. 


Check out Krissy’s video for a more in-depth look! 

Want more from Krissy? No problem! check out her articles at Gymshark Central; Full Body Blaster, New Year, New Me, Top 5 Tips For Meal Prep

 

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