Lifting Move of the Week: The Squat

Happy Hump Day to all! It’s Wednesday, so you know it is the Lifting Move of the Week!  Since this is an important exercise, I am just basically going to talk about this by itself today.

Here was my workout this morning:

Exercise Set/rep/weight Muscle worked
Barbell Squats 3 sets of 10 at 55# Lower body
Seated Lat Row 3 set of 10 at 55# Back
Barbell Chest Press 3 sets of 10 at 55# Chest
Planks 3 sets of 75 second holds Core
Alternating reverse lunges 3 sets of 15 each leg Lower body
Ahnold Press 3 sets of 12 with 10# DBs (20# total) Shoulders
Good Mornings 3 sets of 10 at 45# Low back and hammies
Triceps Kickback 3 sets of 15 with 15# DBs (30# total) Triceps

I haven’t done the planks in over 2 weeks and I could feel it! Again, someone felt the desire to talk to me while I was doing them. Saying they looked harder than pushups. Good thing I was looking at the floor so he couldn’t see my eyes roll…

Anyway, as you know by the title, the Lifting Move of the Week is:  The Squat!

I was a wee bit hesitant to actually post a video and talk about the squat because there certainly are strong opinions about it and what is “right” and what is “wrong.” With squats, there can be some variety of the minutae because of different body types, but there are some general things to do or avoid.

Some people say they can’t do squats because of knee problems, but truthfully, good squat form does not put that much pressure on your knees.  Most people tend to squat too far forward.  When you are doing a squat, you should be able to wiggle your toes and lift them off the floor at all times.  If you cannot do this, then you are putting too much pressure on your knees.  Think of sitting back onto your heels, as those really are what drive the force of the squat.

Knee problems with squats also can occur because you don’t go deep enough.  This means your legs never get to parallel or past.


This actually is okay if you have the chair in front of you to support your forward weight.  I see a lot of people, guys especially, load up the barbell and partial squat.  I die at how their knees must feel stopping at that point fully loaded.  When you stop part way down, this is what causes the greatest stress to the knee instead of passing through this point to where your muscles take over.

So, here is my version of the squat.  I wish I could have had a different camera angle because you can’t see my feet and it does not look like I am going past parallel (which I am) , but I had to use what I could attach the camera to for this.  Maybe when I get paid to do this, then I will get a fancy set up :mrgreen:

Notice that my lower back does round a tiny bit at the bottom.  This is referred to as butt wink.  And hooray thinking of the Google hits I will get with this post. After doing much reading, I don’t mind the rounding when I go past parallel for 2 reasons.  One, it is just really hard to keep your lower back arched once you go past parallel, which I think is a function of the way I am built.  The other is that when I try to keep that arch in my lower back, then I tilt forward too much and go off center as my hips rise faster than the rest of me, which is not good either.  Personally, I would rather just have a little bit of rounding and stay stable.  Again, just my opinion.  (This video also gives me some things to work on with my squat that I don’t see from viewing myself in the mirror.)

Maybe someday I will get to this:

The most important thing with squats is form.  It’s better to do 1 perfect squat with no weights than 20 done poorly with heavy weights just to say “I squatted my body weight.”

If you want to see the perfect example of squat form and how easy and free they are, just watch kids.


They squat naturally ass-to-grass without thinking about balance or anything like that.

** I am not a doctor, personal trainer, or other person of degreed knowledge.  Take any of my musings with 2 grains of kosher salt and do your reading**

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23 thoughts on “Lifting Move of the Week: The Squat

  1. cammy@tippytoediet

    I’d much rather use lighter weights than risk stumbling and/or falling out in the floor. Not to mention ruining my back for life. 🙂

    (Thx for the Queen suggestion. I can think of 4 or 5 songs that might work. Wouldn’t ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ be a great end of workout song? :))
    .-= cammy@tippytoediet´s last blog ..Won’t You Be My Deejay =-.

  2. debby

    I LOVE that baby picture–talk about perfect form. I don’t think I could do that even when I was a baby.

    I don’t particularly like squats, but I admit, they are a lot easier once I finally learned the correct form.
    .-= debby´s last blog ..I’M BAA-ACK =-.

  3. Amy

    Thanks for all the info on the squat! I was always afraid to go too deep on squats but as I am learning more I see that it is a normal human movement to be able to squat all the way down to what the little baby is doing in the picture. And it actually feels really good to do that after a long run.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Meet the new bike! =-.

  4. Call Me Ishmael

    Ahhh, squats. I should perhaps have made these part of my Hot 100 challenge. I love them, but not when I’m doing them! They are magic for the legs and butt though, my two biggest problem areas. Do you keep your toes pointed straight forward when you squat, or take an open stance with toes pointing slightly outward?
    .-= Call Me Ishmael´s last blog ..Hot 100 =-.

  5. Ang

    The one picture of the lady squatting with the barbell looks a lot like my cousin which makes me laugh because I’m pretty sure she’s never done a squat in her life! If I have a doppelganger out there I hope for her sake she’s more athletic than I am! lol
    .-= Ang´s last blog ..Fall is here! Breakout the Pumpkin! =-.

  6. Shelli Belly

    I am most proud of the squats that I have been doing lately. I’ve been doing 30 lb dumbell squats in each hand. Someone told me that those would be 60 lb squats then. I don’t know which is true but, two months ago I would have thought you mad if you told me that I’d be lifting that much.

    I really enjoyed the movie.
    .-= Shelli Belly´s last blog ..Good Day – Tough Day – Good Day =-.

  7. Fran

    Squads are tough but great for the legs. When I did Bodypump classes we always had to do them with a barbel in the neck.

    Personally I find a plank easier then a push up since I still can’t manage more than a girly pushup. At a full pushup I can manage 1 or 2. Pathetic, I know 🙂

  8. Pubsgal

    Thanks for the great info, Lori!

    Ah, squats. I’m always afraid I’m going to fall on my can when I do those. Which is why, after my BodyPump instructor noticed me upping the weights but not going low enough, she said to ditch the weights and focus on getting low enough. She also suggested stacking some risers behind me so that I would (1) have a reference point for how low to go, and (2) wouldn’t be afraid to fall. Wow, it was like I’d just started working out all over again! I’ve gotten better at them, but I still can’t lift heavy on them yet….
    .-= Pubsgal´s last blog ..Weekly Update- 9-22-10 =-.

  9. Susan

    Love that last pic of the baby!! Awesome stuff here Lori, especially the wiggling toes part. I am asking my next client that – I always tell them to pretend their heels are bolted into the floor and sometimes I even make them sit back on things to start. It’s a tricky exercise for sure, but soooo good once you get the hang of it!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Food Matters =-.

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