Squat (arms overhead)
The squat is a fundamental compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Adding the arms overhead to the squat movement increases the challenge and engages the upper body, particularly the shoulders and core muscles. It is an excellent exercise for building strength, improving mobility, and enhancing overall functional fitness. Performing squats with arms overhead requires maintaining a solid stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly outwards. As you descend into the squat, keep your torso upright, core engaged, and weight evenly distributed through your heels. Simultaneously, raise your arms straight overhead, ensuring your upper back remains stable and your shoulders are relaxed. This variation of the squat not only boosts lower body strength but also enhances shoulder mobility and stability. As you lower into the squat, your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps work together to control the movement and generate power. Meanwhile, your shoulders and core muscles engage to maintain stability and balance while holding the arms overhead. It is important to start with a weight that challenges you but allows for proper form and control throughout the movement. If you are a beginner, you may want to begin with bodyweight squats and gradually progress to using dumbbells or a barbell. Always focus on maintaining proper form, breathing rhythmically, and avoiding any excessive strain or discomfort. Adding the squat (arms overhead) to your workout routine can help you develop total body strength, coordination, and mobility.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Extend your arms straight overhead, keeping them parallel to each other.
- Initiate the movement by bending at your hips and knees, as if sitting back into a chair.
- Lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or as low as you can comfortably go.
- Make sure to maintain a neutral spine and keep your chest lifted throughout the movement.
- Push through your heels to straighten your legs and return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Remember to breathe throughout the exercise.
Tips & Tricks
- Engage your core throughout the exercise to maintain stability and proper form.
- Keep your chest up and your spine aligned by focusing on a neutral head position.
- Ensure your knees track in line with your toes to prevent injury and maintain proper alignment.
- Lower your hips back and down as if you were sitting into a chair, while maintaining an upright torso.
- As you drive through your heels to stand back up, squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) for maximum power.
- Incorporate variation by using dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell to increase resistance and challenge your muscles.
- Focus on controlling the movement and performing the squat with a slow and controlled tempo rather than rushing through it.
- Experiment with different foot positions, such as a wider or narrower stance, to target different muscles and add variety to your workout.
- Increase the intensity by performing squat jumps or adding a plyometric element to your squats.
- Proper breathing is essential. Inhale deeply as you lower down and exhale as you push through your heels to stand up.