Drop it like it’s … the most important exercise you can learn. Here’s how to squat.
The squat is one of the best bodyweight exercises as it involves nearly every muscle in the body (it’s also extremely important on the dance floor). For Mudders, the squat is a movement that is used to get over many Tough Mudder obstacles so it’s an integral exercise to have in your fitness program when training for your next event. The great thing is they’re perfect for training at home or a workout in the garden.
Basic Squat Warm Up
It’s important before you start any exercise to do a proper warm up so to avoid injury. Take the time to do both static and dynamic stretches so your muscles are ready to go. These could include quad and hamstring static stretches, leg swings (both front to back and side to side), walking lunges, and calf raises. This warm up should last for about 5 minutes and then you are ready to get squatting.
How to Perfect Your Squatting Form
Now that you are warm, see below for a step by step beginner exercise guide to doing the perfect squat.
- Before starting any exercise take a breath in through the nose, allowing the lungs to fill, and the exhale slowly out through the mouth.
- Stand in a relaxed position, head facing forward, and chest up.
- Your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart or just slightly wider.
- Extend your arms straight out in front of you, this will assist you in keeping your balance. if it’s more comfortable, bend your arms at the elbows or clasp your fingers together.
- Sit back and down, pretend like you are sitting down onto a chair. One thing to remember is to make sure your knees do not track over your toes.
- Lower yourself so your thighs are almost parallel to the floor, keep your weight back in your heels.
- Make sure your core is activated and then push through your heels back into the starting position.
**TIP: If you are wanting a more beginner exercise, use an exercise ball up against a wall, and slowly use the ball to roll into position.
How to Advance Your Squat Strength
The next step to improve your squat movement is through adding weight or resistance. Start off by adding hand weights whilst you perform the exercise then once you are comfortable with this you can add a bar across the front of the shoulders. Adding frontal weight to the exercise forces the body to maintain a good upright position throughout the movement. Increasing the strength in your legs will help you when you are trying to overcome obstacles such as Hero Walls, Everest & Pyramid Scheme. Remember you don’t have to have gym equipment to add weight, this training can be part of your home workout using regular household items as weights.
Now that you have conquered the squat, Tough Mudder obstacles should be a piece of cake. We have plenty more training guides and an official Tough Mudder Challenges group. Feel like you’re ready? Book your ticket today, here are all our upcoming events.