Today has been a non exercise, Gymbaroo day - this morning was all about Mr Marley. The day for him started with a bowl of oatmeal, chopped banana and sultanas (at his request), little bit of TV time while mummy had a shower, off to Gymbaroo to jump and climb and sing and run and......... then we hit the park to run off a little bit more of that never ending energy supply, picnic lunch at the park and home to bed all before 12 - I certainly wish I had made it to bed, instead I battled through an online Center Link form only to have my session timeout and lose all my info whilst I attended to a screaming baby.....arrrrggghhh!
So, I miss it when I don't manage to train but today was one of those non training days that I had factored into my week so that makes it a little easier to deal with.
I thought today I would talk a little bit about the technique you use when you are training. I see many people both in the gym and outside using poor technique and I immediately want to rush over and correct them and stop them doing themselves any potential damage. If you perform an exercise incorrectly over and over again you are essentially training yourself to train badly and the results you get will be no where near what you might get if you were performing exercises properly, not to mention the over activity of other muscles groups which will compensate during a poor movement pattern and the injuries you leave yourself liable to.
So lets talk about a squat
Primary muscles used - Quadriceps and Gluteus
The squat is a fantastic movement pattern, it uses almost the whole muscular system especially if you are weighting your squats (we are using an resistance elastic in the picture and you can find these on my website). Squats are a great example of a compound exercise which means that more than one joint and more than one muscles group is involved in the exercise. A good heavy squat will also work the cardiovascular system.
As a time poor mum there should definitely be at least one form of squat in your workout. You could even add a shoulder press into your squat pattern to work the upper body also. By using lots more than one muscle group by recruiting the largest muscle group in the body (legs) squats will have you burning lots of energy and getting lots of muscles working which is a great way of keeping your metabolism raised long after you have finished your strength workout.
Let's check in with a few technique points for performing a great squat:
- Feet should be just wider than hip width apart
- Toes are facing forwards or slightly outwards
- Chest is up, shoulders are down and you have a natural curve through your lower back and an awareness through you TVA (Transverse Abdominals)
- Keep your weight towards your heels
- Bend at the knees and keep your knees from going over your toes
- Stick your bum out as if you were hovering over a toilet seat and work towards a 90 degree angle at the knees
- Try wiggling your toes to make sure you weight is in the correct place
- You must keep your back straight throughout the exercise - a rounded back in not good and can lead to injury
- Slowly bring yourself back up to the starting point whilst exhaling