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Squats
Works most of the larger muscles of the lower body. (1) Glutes, (2) Quads, (3) Hamstrings, (4) Hip Muscles, (5) Gastrocnemius, (6) Soleus, (7) Tibialis Anterior

IMPORTANT: If you are unfamiliar with this exercise, I recommend practicing your form without any weight and with a trained professional. If you are currently experiencing any knee or lower back pain, then DO NOT attempt this exercise. If have experienced pain in these areas in the past, then start the exercise without any weight to see if any pain develops during the range of motion. Also, when performing the downward portion of the squat, and as your knees are bent, do not let the knees extend beyond your ankles. I suggest performing this exercise in front of a mirror in order to check your form.

The squats can be performed with a bar or dumbbell. The bar alone weights 45 lbs, so if this is too much weight, use dumbbells. In either case, proper form is important. If using the bar, use a squat machine if possible. The bar can be placed high enough to keep you from too much strain placing it on your shoulders. Most gyms will have a pad with will wrap around the weight for neck comfort. If the is none, use a small towel around your neck. If using dumbbells, you will be placing them on either shoulder holding them steady with your hand. Consult a professional before attempting the squat and be very careful. You do want to injure your lower back. Too much weight can be detrimental if the exercise is not performed correctly. If you are experiencing any knee or lower back problems, I recommend not using any weight and practice the motion to see if pain occurs. You can gradually add weight once you begin to get stronger. 

SQUATS WITH BAR:
1)
Start by facing the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the bar with both hands. Make sure your hands are placed equal distance apart and in a comfortable position. Step under the bar and stand with the bar resting on your shoulders just below the neck line. DO NOT REST THE BAR ON YOUR NECK.
2) Once in the standing positon, do not lock your knees. Keep them slightly flexed.
3) Do not put your body weight on your toes. Try distributing the weight to the midsole and heels.
4) Slowly lower your body, bending at the hips leaning forward slightly. As you lower yourself, imagine sitting back in a chair. Balance is important. Only go as low as comfortable. As you get stronger and your muscles become more flexible you will be able to squat a little lower. 
5) Lower yourself on a four count and stand on a 2 count. Remember, when standing, do not lock your knees. Keep them slightly flexed. 

SQUATS WITH DUMBBELL
1) Place the dumbbells on your shoulders. Facing forward, keep legs shoulder width apart.
2) Follow steps #2 - #5 from the explanation above.

 

 

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