The squat is a lower-body exercise that weight trainers use for all round strength.
The main emphasis is on the quads (upper front leg muscles or thigh) group, and the buttocks (gluteas), It also exercises all of the other major leg muscles as well as lower back too.
The squat is often called “the king of exercises” because it “is capable of inducing more and faster muscle growth than any other exercise”.
In pilates there is a slightly different approach to this exercise because it is done without the massive weights that are often used in the traditional version, The result is however still a strong core.
- Stand slightly crouched with feet approximately shoulder distance apart.
- Shoulders should be relaxed down and back.
- Arms can just hang where they are.
- Your head should be alligned above your knees.
- Take a deep breath
- While slowly exhaling, gently lower yourself by bending your hips and knees keeping your head above your knees. This should be done without bending your back. It is important that you keep your head alligned as though you are looking straight ahead.
- Go down as low as you can comfortably go.
- Hold this position and take a deep breath.
- While slowly exhaling return to the starting position.
Do not do this if you have a knee or other leg injury. If it is too difficult to go all the way down you can stop half way down (as in the second illustration) and then slowly lower from there. The exercise, done this way is equally effective.