Can’t Do a Squat?
A dodgy knee shouldn’t stop you from getting the benefits of this essential functional movement.
The squat is about the best exercise to target all the big muscles in your legs and best of all, you don’t need any more equipment than a chair or Exercise ball and your own body weight.
Squats not only strengthen and shape your legs and booty, they are also one of the best fat burning exercises you can do. So it is a good idea to incorporate them in your weight training sessions, two to three times per week.
However a common problem with squats is poor technique which can lead to injury. Many people lead with their knees but this is incorrect. You must first push your hips backward like you are going to sit down.
How can I modify the squat if I feel I have poor technique or have a knee injury or knee pain?
Option 1: Using the Common chair:
Sit tall on the edge of a stable chair, with your spine straight, shoulders down and chest up.
It is a good idea to place it against a wall so it can’t move.
Place your feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Push up through your heels and in a strong movement stand up. Depending on your level of mobility, you can either support yourself with your hands to sit back down on the chair or, from a standing position, push your hips back and in a controlled movement sit back down on the chair. This is 1 rep.
Option 2: Using an Exercise Ball
Stand tall with an exercise ball between the wall and your lower back, with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing out. Lean into the ball, push your hips back and in a controlled movement, lower into a squat. The ball will roll down the wall, giving you support. Once you reach your sticking spot (aim to get to a 90 degree angle), push up through your heels in a strong movement to return to standing as the ball rolls up the wall with you. This is 1 rep