So here’s the challenge: do 100 squats with your butt touching a basketball or medicine ball. Can you do it?
Many people have trouble squatting properly because they don’t move from the hips. Sitting BACK into the hips takes the pressure off of the knee and allows for a deeper squat, giving better fitness results.
A thigh parallel squat is something that people talk about sometimes but usually don’t do. It’s too easy to fool yourself and that’s where the ball comes in. Placing a ball (usually a basketball or medicine ball is used) under your butt and touching it on each rep insures that you are actually hitting parallel for most people. Those of you who are taller will naturally need to adjust the width of the feet in the squat to have the butt touch.
Many people claim that squats hurt their knees but not going low enough actually contributes to that problem. If you don’t squat with the hip BELOW the knee (an actual parallel squat) the hamstrings don’t fire, meaning the squat will only work the quads. You end up with a muscle imbalance from doing the exercise improperly. But actually, most everyone has deficient hamstring strength already due to sitting all day, then going to spinning class at the gym where they sit and think they’re getting good exercise, and then going home to sit in front of the computer or the TV. All this sitting makes the hamstrings weak and tight. A full-range squat is a good way to start fixing that deficiency.
So there’s the challenge. Can you do it?