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How To Do The Perfect Squat: A Step-By-Step Guide

3rd August 2021

3rd August 2021

By Beth Shelper

What’s one move you’ll find in every gym across the world?


And for one reason: they work. That is, they work as long as you’re doing them right. Think you can't do squats? Then this is the article for you. 

While squats are primarily a lower body exercise, they work almost all of the major muscle groups:

Squats are such a fundamental part of working out that even babies have a natural ability to squat with perfect form. They’re essential to staying fit and limber as you get older - everyone wants to be able to get out of a chair by themselves when they’re 90, after all. 

What are the benefits of squatting?

Number one on the list of reasons to squat is helping you to build stronger glute muscles. This isn’t only so you look good in leggings (although let’s be honest, it doesn’t hurt), but also helps to protect your lower back, which overcompensates when your glutes are weak and can often lead to pain and tightness. In addition, having strong glutes will make you a faster runner, as increasing the strength and capacity of these muscles will enable you to pound the pavements more effectively. 

Squats are also a core workout. As you bring your body closer to the ground, your core activates to keep you stable and balanced, so every rep works out your entire midsection as well as your glutes.

Having a strong core is essential not only for having abs that could grate cheese, but maintaining good posture and keeping us upright and steady on our feet. 

Last but by no means least, squats are a simple way to turbo-charge your metabolism. As they build up one of the largest muscles in your body, they’re an effective way to increase your lean muscle mass. Having a high percentage of lean muscle mass means your overall metabolic rate is faster even at rest, so you’ll burn more calories without even trying, helping you to lose body fat and be more toned overall. 

If you want to have the energy and capacity to squat for as many reps as you want without tiring, The Fit Protein is designed to help you push yourself farther and faster than you even have before. For an extra boost, The Energy Booster is formulated to raise energy, improve stamina and to help push yourself further.

Combined with your squatting regime, you’ll be an unstoppable force. 

Am I squatting wrong?

Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash

Squatting in a way which doesn’t engage the right muscles or uses the wrong technique not only means that you miss out on the many benefits this move provides, it could mean you sustain an injury while doing so. 

The first mistake many people make while squatting is not dropping low enough to the ground.

You shouldn’t be stopping when your thighs are parallel to the floor, but should instead continue dropping it like it’s hot, as low as you can go, as long as you’re pressing your knees outward and keeping your feet flat on the floor.

If you’re lowering your body only halfway towards the floor, the reduced range of motion from this lessens the muscle-strengthening benefits of squats. 

If your hips are tight and you struggle to loosen your lower body enough to achieve this, try stretching and foam rolling until you can. 

Next up: are you bouncing out of your squat or are you rising from it in a smooth, controlled manner? If it’s the former, that’s a mistake which could cost you. Using the momentum of your body to return to standing means you’re at greater risk of losing control of your movements, which greatly increases your risk of injury. 

It’s worth paying attention to how you’re positioning your knees while squatting. If your knees tend to lean inwards, this could mean that your glutes aren’t firing properly and thus aren’t supporting your body as they should.

To combat this (and to strengthen your glutes generally), try incorporating some glute bridges into your workout regime before you start squatting to keep your glutes alert and firing on all cylinders. 

The final most common mistake made while squatting is dropping your chest forwards, which often occurs when you attempt to squat lower than your mobility allows. Resist the temptation to allow your chest to sink forward when you drop your body downwards, as when this happens it can put strain on your lower back, which can lead to problems long-term. 

How to squat right

So now we've covered all the ways you can't squat properly, let's give you a run down on the correct form. 

1. Start in a standing position, with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes facing forward.

2. Inhale, engage your core and push your hips back as though you’re lowering yourself into a chair, while at the same time reaching your arms forwards until your hands are clasped together at chest height. 

3. Keeping your torso facing upright and your spine straight, concentrate on pressing your knees outwards and distributing your weight evenly on both feet.

4. Lower yourself until your thighs are at least parallel with the floor, or as deep as you can go.

5. Then breathe out, press upwards through your heels and reverse the movement, returning to an upright standing position. 

6. Repeat 

When it comes to squatting sets, this entirely depends on how experienced you are, how much weight you are using (or whether it's a bodyweight squat), and what other exercises you're planning to engage in during your workout. 


So, we've learned a couple of things here. Form is everything.


Make sure you follow the steps above to get it right, and not only will you avoid injury, but nail your squats and improve your glutes. It's a win-win. 

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The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. 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It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more