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How to Do Perfect Squats and Pushups

how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups
<article> <section> <p>When it comes to bodyweight exercises, you’d be hard pressed to find two more popular and effective moves than squats and pushups. The Squat is a compound, a full-body movement that works all of the major leg muscles, strengthens your hips and knees, and elevates your heart rate, helping you to burn fat. Pushups are also a compound exercise that fire your chest, triceps, shoulders, abs, and back, building strength and improving posture and stability. Still, despite the popularity and effectiveness of these moves, the truth is this: a lot of us simply aren’t doing them correctly.</p> <p>One of the biggest mistakes people make with both of these moves is neglecting to focus on proper form. Sure, you can phone it in and say you’re doing a bunch of pushups and squats every time you work out. But doing the perfect pushup and the perfect squat is going to ensure that you’ll see much better results, much faster. So, if you want to know our tried and true methods for doing the best possible squats and pushups, you’re going to want to keep reading.</p> <p>However, an improper form isn’t just an issue because it makes these exercises less beneficial. Failure to adhere to the perfect form can also put you at risk of causing serious injury. A small amount of pain during exercise is completely normal— you are, after all, pushing your body to do something it doesn’t normally do. But if you notice that you’re experiencing a lot of pain while doing squats or pushups, or if you develop a chronic injury from either of these moves, it’s likely that you’re not performing them correctly.</p> <p>In fact, both of these exercises should have the <i>opposite</i> effect. Due to the modest efficacy of pharmacological treatments on chronic pain, experts have spent the last several decades exploring non-pharmacological interventions for chronic pain including exercise. A Norwegian study of over 46,000 participants found that for adults ages 20-64, those who exercised for 30 minutes at least one to three times per week experienced 10-12 percent<sup>1</sup> less chronic pain than those who were sedentary. For women over the age of 65, this same amount of exercise resulted in a decreased prevalence of chronic pain between 21 and 38 percent<sup>1</sup> depending on the exercise load.</p> <p>Rather than causing pain, squats and pushups are often suggested as a way to build strength in your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons in order to reduce pain and ward off injury. </p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9 w-md-75 my-5 mx-auto"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YUT0f9P7GpQ" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> <p>Let’s get started by learning how to do Squats with perfect form. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Squats</header> <p>The Squat is a fairly simple exercise with a ton of amazing benefits. Here we’re going to provide you with all of the necessary cues to perform the Squat such that you maximize the benefits of the movement while minimizing your risk of pain and injury. </p> <p><b>Follow these directions to perform the perfect Squat:</b></p> <p>1. Start in a standing position with your heels just outside of hip width and your toes pointed slightly outward.</p> <p>2. Hinge at the hips and press your butt backwards to initiate the squatting movement. Continue dropping your body down until your thighs are parallel with the ground or below. If you’re having trouble balancing, you can lift your arms up in front of you to keep stability.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-1-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-1-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-1-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-1-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <p>3. Press through your heels to return your body to the starting position.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-2-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-2-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-2-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-2-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <p>4. Continue repeating this movement until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</p> <p><b>Things to keep in mind</b></p> <ul> <li>Seventy percent of your weight should be on your heels and 30 percent evenly distributed on the pads of your feet and toes. Doing this will cause you to activate your hamstrings and glutes while slightly de-emphasizing your quads, easing the strain on your knees.</li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-3-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-3-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-3-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-3-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>Make sure that your knees track over your toes as you squat and that your femur, or thigh bone, stay in line with your knees. The knee is a hinge joint which means it’s only meant to go one direction. If your knees collapse in or wobble out during the movement you’re putting yourself at risk for a knee injury.</li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-4-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-4-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-4-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-4-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>As you perform the move, pretend there is a wall in front of you that you can’t touch. You don’t want your back to hunch over while you’re squatting, so this will help you to keep your spine aligned, your chest open, your head tall, and your posture solid.</li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-5-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-5-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-5-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-5-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>Take a deep breath in as you squat down and exhale powerfully as you press back up to the starting position. This is absolutely crucial for building strength and power, stabilizing your joints, and increasing your metabolism to help you burn fat.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Did you know?</header> <p>The truth about our levels of physical activity, both in the US and around the globe, is pretty dismal. The World Health Organization released a report in <i>Lancet</i> in 2018 that found that 1.4 billion people around the world, or 28 percent<sup>2</sup> of the global population, are completely inactive. The report also highlighted a gender gap in exercise with only 23 percent<sup>2</sup> of women around the globe getting enough compared with 31 percent <sup>2</sup> of men. Worse, that number hasn’t budged since 2001, meaning that despite the increasing availability of information about exercise, a lot of us still just aren’t getting any or even simply enough physical activity.</p> <p>In the US, the numbers are equally more troubling. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends <sup>3</sup> that each American adult gets 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity or 75 to 150 minutes of intense physical activity each week. However, only 20 percent<sup>4</sup> of US adults— 18 percent of women and 23 percent of men— are getting the recommended amount of exercise. Given the correlation between chronic pain and physical activity, perhaps it’s not surprising that 20 percent<sup>5</sup> of US adults experience chronic pain and 8 percent<sup>5</sup> experience high-impact chronic pain according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).</p> <p>However, as we’ve suggested, exercise is a powerful antidote to chronic pain, particularly when that exercise is done correctly. Now let’s learn how to do Pushups with perfect form.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Pushups</header> <p>Again, the Pushup is a simple move— you’ve probably done them at least once in your life. But so many of us do them without thinking carefully about our form. </p> <p><b>Let’s correct that by learning how to do the Pushup with flawless form:</b></p> <p>1. Start in a full plank pushup position, supporting your weight with your hands flat on the ground and slightly outside of shoulder width, your toes tucked, and your body in a nice, straight line from your toes to your head.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-6-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-6-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-6-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-6-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <p>2. Bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle from your body to lower your chest towards the ground.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-7-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-7-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-7-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-7-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <p>3. Press through your hands to push your body back up to the starting position.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-8-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-8-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-8-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-8-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <p>4. Continue repeating this movement until you’ve completed the desired number of repetitions.</p> <p><b>Things to keep in mind</b></p> <ul> <li>Keep your toes tucked throughout the movement. You should feel like your toes are activated while you’re performing your Pushups.</li> <li>As you get into the plank position, lock your legs, fire your quad muscles, and squeeze your glutes hard. Not only will this help you to maintain proper form, but it will also give your quads and glutes a nice pump.</li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-9-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-9-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-9-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-9-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>One of the biggest mistakes people make while doing Pushups is arching the back. Doing this puts added pressure and strain on your lower back which de-emphasizes your ab muscles meaning you’ll get less of a core workout from the movement.</li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-10-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-10-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-10-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-10-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>Be careful not to flare your elbows while you’re lowering your body to the ground. Unless you’re incredibly flexible, this is likely to cause pain and even injury in your shoulders. Instead, bend your elbows back behind you and make sure they’re at a 45-degree angle or less from your body.</li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-11-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-11-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-11-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-11-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>If you want to emphasize the front of your shoulders and your triceps, try bringing your elbows really close to your body at much less than a 45-degree angle. For pumping your chest more, you’ll want to stick to that perfect 45-degree angle.</li> <li>Your hands should be active during the movement, meaning that all five points on the palm of your hand should be pressing into the ground and your fingertips should be gripping the ground. This will help you to both stretch and strengthen your wrists which is especially helpful for people with carpal tunnel syndrome. </li></ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-12-0060.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-12-0060.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-12-0060.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-perfect-squats-pushups-12-LR-0060.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="perfect-squats-pushups"> </picture> <ul><li>Inhale as you drop down then take a powerful breath out as you press back up to the starting position, almost as though your breath is propelling you off the ground. Again, this is great for strengthening your joints, building muscle, and increasing metabolism.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Conclusion</header> <p>As we’ve demonstrated, Squats and Pushups require far more attention to form than you might previously have known. Make sure to stick to all of the form cues we’ve offered you here in order to ensure you get the most out of these exercises while keeping yourself safe and injury free.</p> <p>If the moves we’ve presented here are a little too challenging at first, there are a number of simple modifications you can make to perform these exercises more easily. For an alternative to the Squat, you can try out the Sit to Stand exercise where you’ll perform the squat with the exact same form, but you’ll drop down to sit on your couch or on a chair and then stand back up. This will help you build strength, stability, and balance so you can move on to the Squat when you’re ready.</p> <p>Pushups can be made easier by placing your knees on the ground instead of your toes. Again, you’ll want to stick to all the same form cues including keeping your back in a straight line, squeezing your quads and glutes, and bending your elbows at that perfect 45-degree angle. You’ll get a lot of the same benefits from this variation, but it’s going to be much more accessible for people new at exercising and folks with pain or injuries.</p> <p>One of the best parts about both of these exercises is that they’re simple bodyweight movements that can be done from the comfort of your own home. If you’ve got fifteen minutes or so to spare during your day, try doing some alternating sets of Squats and Pushups with a number of repetitions that feels comfortable. </p> <p>The key to getting in great shape is creating an exercise program that you can keep up. Adding Squats and Pushups to your daily routine is a simple and effective way to get your exercise in, build strength, and treat or prevent chronic pain. Plus, you can start right now, today in your very own living room. So let’s get moving!</p> </section> </article>

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