Do I need to squat?
Without knowing anything about you or your training history, limitations or past injuries, the short answer to questions like this is always: It depends.
Every body is different, yet the squat is a basic and functional movement, and you may experience some great benefits for your life and/or sport by learning how to improve and strengthen squatting patterns.
Are you and athlete training for a specific sport or to feel stronger in a recreational activity? Do you simply want to workout for the health benefits and to improve your overall fitness?
Are you a human that sits down and stands up from a chair... or the toilet? Ever have to get something from bottom cabinet? Pick up something from the ground? Climb stairs or step up into a vehicle?
Even a simple understanding the proper mechanics of a safe squat can help bring more mindfulness into your everyday movements. AND by intentionally training squatting patterns under load, your muscles will be better prepared to protect your joints, especially as you age!
Any type of lower body pressing/pushing actions can be considered squat patterns. This includes, but is not limited to:
What Types of Squats Should I Do?
Again, it depends on:
The range of motion required for your sport or your life
Your age and your training age -- years old and years of experience training
Past or current injuries or limitations
What you actually enjoy and what feels good in your body
Training isn't always fun or comfortable. In fact, if you want to get stronger and continue to experience gains, you MUST push yourself out of your comfort zone frequently. This doesn't mean you must push through PAIN or through a movement that simply doesn't feel right in your body. I'm all about trying different modes and methods of training, and it takes time and patience of stumbling through the awkward learning phase.
If after practicing and seeking guidance from a coach, you still find a certain type of squat causes more frustration or pain than it seems to benefit you, the good news is there are other movement patterns you can use to achieve close to the same training stimulus!
How many times a week should I squat?
This answer can vary based on your total number of training days per week. If you are training 5 days a week, aim to include squat patterns (lower body push) in 3 of those training sessions. One session could be front squats, another day could be lunges, and your third session could be step-ups!
How many reps / sets?
Hiring a coach or investing in a training program can help take the guesswork out of your training. A coach can help provide a structured plan tailored to your needs and goals that will ensure you are progressing and seeing results. A great starting point for newbies is to aim for 5 x 5 (5 sets of 5 reps with a rest period in between) and then work up to 5 x 10.
When do I add weight / resistance to my squats?
Every exercise should first be practiced with body weight only until you are able to execute consecutive reps with proper form and coordination. Body weight movement first should also always be incorporated into your warm-up. This gives you the chance to prime your muscles and assess any imbalances before adding weight.
What type of shoes do I need?
I recommend something with either a flat sole and zero drop like the No Bull trainers pictured above OR something with a raised heel designed for lifting... running shoes are not typically great for lifting. I also suggest trying some squats barefoot to help you bring more awareness into your feet.
Can you train me?
Inside my online strength and yoga training program, Find Your Flow, you can expect to learn about and train squats in a way that best aligns with your training goals and with your lifestyle. I teach you various types of squatting patterns (and much more) with appropriate progressions! You'll receive 4-5 workouts per week, with demo videos for each of the exercises. You also have the ability to film yourself and upload it right into the training app for me to review and offer feedback on your form.
Ready to get more intentional with your training? Need help building a balanced workout routine you can stick with? I can teach you. Click here or on the image below to head over to the sales page and learn more.
Enrollment is open through October 31st!