Exercise Modification Series: Squats

How Spectrum Sports Modifies Squats
Jennifer Wells, OTS, Spectrum Sports
April 4, 2024
Exercise Modification Series: Squats

Jennifer Wells, OTS, Spectrum Sports


April 4, 2024

What are Squats? 

Squats are a strength exercise that target the lower body, specifically the muscles:

  • Quadriceps - front of the thighs
  • Glutes - butt muscles
  • Adductors - inner thighs
  • Calves - back of the lower leg

Building these muscles is important as it is used in many functional activities. Squats help build muscles that are highly involved with daily activities like:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Climbing stairs

How to Perform a Squat Properly

  1. Stand with feet a little wider than hip width apart, toes facing forward and brace the core
  2. Sit into a squat position, bringing the hips down like sitting in a chair, while still keeping the chest up and shoulders back
  3. Inhale as the hips lower as low as possible
  4. Exhale and press the heels into the ground as the legs straighten to return to a standing upright position

How Spectrum Sports Modifies Squats

  • Depth of the Squat: The lower thehips during the squat the better the muscles are worked and engaged. Theathlete's ability to go lower into a squat can be improved with practice andincreased mobility through warm-up and post-exercise stretches.
  • Feet Position: A simple squatposition has the feet pointed straight to work the quadriceps more. Changingthe feet to point slightly out and hinge the hips back will work other muscles,like the glutes.
  • Weight: A simple squat is notperformed with any weight. If the exercise is too easy, weight can be added tohold at chest level to increase the difficulty.
  • Visual demonstrations and verbalinstruction: A bench or object can be used to show the athletes how far downthere hips need to be and/or short phrases like “tap the bench” and “stand up”can be used as cues of what to do.

How to Complete at Home

An individual can stand in any area with adequate space to perform squats. The correct form is very important with this exercise to prevent injuries, especially to the lower back. Once form is established weight can be added to increase the intensity!

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