You have been training your body to get ready for this very moment - THE SQUAT!
The biggest goal here is to build strong muscles AND have them work together cohesively. This is an exercise where it is way more about the journey than the destination. Your goal is to get a good range of motion out of each of your joints (ankles, knees, hips) and to have them work together in harmony with the muscle groups involved (which is pretty much all of them!)
So, here's how we're going to approach our squat:
- Stand with feet about shoulder width apart and focus on 'grounding' your feet
- Find a nice strong posture with all of your core muscles engaged and strong
- Stand with feet parallel or you can have them slightly turned out. Do what feels good for your body, but not more than 10-15 degrees. (Any wider is a different kind of squat working different muscles)
- Hands can be down at your side or out in front. I like mine in prayer position for balance and centeredness.
- With an engaged core, slowly start to push your butt and hips backward while also bending knees and ankles.
- Think of them as going together at the same speed. My yoga teacher says 'hips, knees, ankles...hips, knees, ankles!'
- Keep your knees behind your toes at all times. If they creep forward, stop and start over.
- Keep your core in a straight line from the pelvic floor all the way up to shoulders. Stay engaged.
- Go as far back/down as you can while maintining good balance and form. When you get to the point where you start to lose that, push from the feet and up the chain to come back up SLOWLY. (The up is just as important)
To stay engaged and do 5 really quality squats will be tough at first. Try to do 5, then add 5 more when you feel you've conquered 5.
As you do this, think of Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Even when you tremble to sustain your power, God is with you.
If any of these activites make you realize that you'd really, really like to have a trainer that can watch and guide you, please let us know. We work closely with the Under Armour Performance Center by FX Fitness and they have some truly elite and kind trainers there. Coach Sandra, the run coach at UAPC, has helped us immensely in understanding core activation and I'd highly recommend her.
If you missed the first week, you can go back and start from the beginning with Know Your Core.