On this Fit Life, KY3's Paul Adler visits with Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness to find a way to safely do squats at the gym.
Here's what Pamela told us:
Fix your squat form
Squats are a part of almost every workout your find in magazines or online. That’s because they are a great lower body exercise. However if done in correctly you may be doing yourself more harm than good.
The most common squat form issues I see are both knee related. The first is starting the squat by pushing the knees forward to descend. Squats are like sitting and should start with pushing the hips back.
The easiest way to correct this is to practice in front of a chair or a bench. Practice sitting back to gently tap the chair or the bench with your hips. Keep your weight in your heals, not the balls of your feet, and let the knees follow the hips. The second problem I see, especially when someone is trying to lift too much weight, is the knees collapsing in. The next time you do a squat look at your knees in the mirror. As you descend, the knees should track slightly out. If you see them start to track in (knock knees) then you’ve got some homework to do.
The root cause of this issue is often weak glutes, so make
sure you add a glute specific exercise or two to your routine. Then practice squatting with a mini band around your knees. The force of the band will prompt your knees to stay in the proper position. Use the band while doing your squat along with using a lower weight until you
can correct your form.
A little correction and prevention could help prevent pain in the short term and injury in the long term.