Squats. They never get easier. Every time my kickboxing instructor tells the class to do 10 power squats, I shudder because I know it’s going to hurt. I also know that squats are one of the best workouts for your body, so I grin and bear it.
Squats not only build muscle in your legs — including quadriceps, hamstrings and calves — but they also strengthen connective tissue, preventing injury in areas like your knees and ankles. It's a functional exercise, so the more you do now, the better off your body will be when you’re older. The best part about squats: They lift your butt to make it look fantastic!
There are so many types of squat variations out there. However you choose to do them, be mindful of your form — otherwise you're risking injury.
Squat in front of a mirror and look for the following in your form:
Tilt your hips back while you squat your butt down (like you’re sitting in an imaginary seat).
Keep your core tight throughout the whole exercise.
Hold your arms at shoulder level or extend them out.
Knees should never pass your toes.
Feet should always be flat on the floor.
Weight should be concentrated on your heels.
Knees should always be pointed at same direction as toes.
Inhale as you squat down; exhale as you come back up.
Here’s a quick video to use as a visual aid: