Behold the squat. This fundamental movement has been part of your life since you were a baby, and working it into your fitness routine does much more than making your thighs burn. A misconception is that squats are tough on the knees, when in reality squatting with bad form is what knees have an issue with. Keep your form in check and you’re good to go!
What’s proper form? Observe a daycare for 10 minutes and you’ll see every child demonstrating perfect squatting form without even knowing it!
Once you feel comfortable with this movement pattern, try adding some weight to challenge the muscles of the glutes, quads, lumbar and thoracic spine, and core, plus the added benefit of increasing hip and ankle mobility. The goblet squat can be done with a kettlebell or dumbbell, keeping it at chest height with elbows tucked in so they fall just between the knees as you lower into a deep squat position. You may find it easier to squat deeper with the toes and knees angling out at 45*.
Look in the mirror as you try these and concentrate on pressing your knees to the outside with your weight distributed towards the outsides of your feet. Keeping your thoracic spine strong (chest up) to avoid rounding in your lumbar spine (low back), squeeze the glutes to return to a standing position.