A lot of times we’re in a rush to get our workouts in but sacrificing proper form can lead to injuries.

Our fit mom, Carissa Johnson with the help of her husband is here to break down the squat and another variation to make it harder.

The Bodyweight or Air Squat

There is normally a standard way that coaches often set-up a person when teaching them to squat properly.  Please note that because each person’s body is built differently.  Hip anatomy, femur length, and other items can impact how each person does squat and what depth they can hit.  So, remember, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to squatting.

Ideally, when setting up for the squat the feet will be like that of the deadlift.  Your heels will be underneath your shoulders.  Your toes can either point forward or toe out.  This depends on your body structure.  Do what feels most comfortable.

To begin the movement, push your hips back and knees should track over your toes.  If you can get your knees to push a little more towards the outside of your feet that helps with stability.

Once you feel like you’ve mastered the bodyweight or air squat, you can try some different variations to make it a little harder.

Goblet Squat

The goblet squat is a good and easy way to add some weight to your squat.  All you need is a kettlebell or dumbbell or medicine ball.

Hold the kettlebell upside down against your chest.  Or if you have a dumbbell cup one end of dumbbell head in your hands (think palms facing up).  Then the same principles of a squat apply. 

One thing to watch out for is rounding of the back.  Be sure to drive your elbows up, especially as you rise and that should fit that problem.

personal male trainer and female performing medicine ball squats

Hitting Depth

If you’re a person who struggles to hit depth, it can be a mobility issue or even just an anatomy issue that cannot be fixed.  If you cannot get to parallel, just go as low as you can that is comfortable.

Some other ways to work on depth is to put a target below you.  Try a wall ball or medicine ball or box. 

Want to get the most out of your workouts?  Try myHMB.

MyHMB has been clinically proven to improve recovery, build muscle and strength, and enhance aerobic capacity.  Learn more.

WBFF Pro and Fit Mom Carissa Johnson

Carissa Johnson

Carissa Johnson grew up playing soccer and after getting into her corporate accounting career realized she missed competing and the gym.  She earned her WBFF Pro Card in 2011, unfortunately shortly after was in a horrific pedestrian car accident leaving her not sure if she would be able to walk again.  Carissa fought through; built back up her strength and after many surgeries has been able to step back up on stage.  She is the proud mom of two and also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).


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