January Challenge: Getting Started with Squats

One of the first things that I hear from most women who are beginning to exercise with me is the list of why they can’t exercise. “My chest is too big so I can’t do anything that makes it bounce.” “I don’t like to get sweaty.” “I have bad knees.”

My usual response is something along the lines of “Get a really good sports bra; not the kind from the clearance rack at the local dollar store.” “Take a shower afterwards.” And finally, “so do I. Make sure you are helping and not hurting them. Not exercising them is hurting them.”

Obviously I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on tv. Before you start exercising if you have a medical condition you should check with your physician. But there are a lot of exercises that can help your knees if they are done properly. Squats are one of these exercises.

It’s important to do these correctly or you can hurt yourself, but doing them properly will strengthen the legs including the attachments around the knee, which helps to stabilize the knees.

Start by sitting about half way back in a hardback chair. Make sure your legs are at a 90 degree angle, with your ankles directly under your knees. Hold your hands straight out in front of you at chest height. Stand up without moving your feet. Then push your rear back in order to sit down again. That is the correct positioning for a squat. When you can do 20 of those easily, you can move on to the next step.

Start by standing in front of the chair. Lower your butt down and back as if you are sitting in the chair but stop just before sitting down. Stand back up. Your knees should never extend past your toes. Your chest stays up. Doing these over the toilet is often helpful to get the right angle — I usually tell women “it’s like peeing at a gas station; you’ve got to push the butt back and hover.” (Amazingly, women seem to understand those directions!!)

Give these a try and let me know what you think — I’d love to hear from you!

3 Responses to “January Challenge: Getting Started with Squats”

  1. Susan WilliamsOctober 14, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    I started these back in January, and got pretty far along. I was doing over 100. And then, I had some health issues that caused me to need to quit for a while. I need to start all over again with these.

    Thanks, Julia!

  2. RobinOctober 14, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Doing the daily squats was the beginning of some pretty significant changes for my body this year. Thank you! I’m down 12 lbs and finally have something that can be described as a butt! 🙂 I’ve also started doing yoga regularly, too. But my 50 squats get done every day.

    • Julia RobinsonOctober 14, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      That’s wonderful to hear!! I’m so glad that you are seeing improvement!!

Leave a Reply