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Beginner Tips For Doing Squats Correctly

The Fitness Goal You Can Accomplish Before 2012

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!

"Make your last set the one that counts," the instructor cued us during last night's workout. And while the last things my arms wanted to do was another bicep curl, ending on a strong note not only made me feel extra accomplished, but it's that extra push towards sculpting a slim, strong bod.

So while we've only got four days left before the end of year, end on a high note by crossing a fitness goal off your to-do list. Your challenge: perfect a squat. (We know it's one of your least-favorite moves, but maybe this'll change your mind!)

"The squat is what we call a functional exercise. If you can practice doing it properly in your workout routine then when you have to do it in everyday life it becomes easier and you're less likely to get injured as you age," says NY-based fitness expert Melissa Paris. "You don't even realize but you are already squatting every day: when you go to the bathroom, when you pick something up off the floor or when you get up and down from your office chair."

Read on for tips on how to perfect the all-important squat.

Practice 5-10 squats in the morning using the proper form Melissa shared below and start the new year off with a toned butt and legs!

  1. Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Toes should be pointed forward and engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine to work your transverse abdominals. (The girdle that holds everything in your abdominals together.)
  3. Slowly bend your knees and lower yourself to the ground as if to sit in a chair position.
  4. Stop when your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  5. Push back up through your heels, exhaling at the same time.

Key points:

  • Inhale when lowering body, exhaling when pushing back up.
  • Keep toes pointed forward.
  • Engage your abdominals.
  • Do not use your hands to help you push back up.
  • Don't allow your chest to drop and sink onto the tops of your thighs.

Learn more about Melissa Paris here.

Related Links
8 Moves To A Lean Lower Body
The New Year, New You Training Program (Lose 2 Pounds This Week!)
Superfoods For Flat Abs

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Source: Thinkstock
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