The squat is an important movement that I believe all people should perform, but it is especially helpful for cyclists as it activates the hamstrings, the glutes, and the core, which all play a large part in cycling.
Squats also are very important in helping to reduce the risk of knee and ankle injury and in helping build stronger bones including a stronger spine.
When done in high repetition, they also are a great cardio movement that burns fat.
How to get started
First, start without any weight at all. Just use your body weight. You could do 100 “air squats” a day, broke into five sets of 20 reps. Then progress to adding a barbell. Then after time, add weight.
Nine tips for good squatting form
- Start with feet hip width or more apart
- Weight spread equally across the feet, not on the toes or heels
- Create a slight pelvis shelf to align the spine for optimal strength. On an exhale, pull belly button toward the spine, activating the core muscles and stabilizing the spine
- Drive the hips back like you are sitting down, as you press your knees slightly open while pushing through the pinky toes and big toes
- Keep the chest lifted and the shoulders back
- Continue to drive the hips back and the knees open until you reach parallel or knees at about 90 degrees
- Don’t allow the knees to go over toes, and press the knees open as if pushing against a resistance band. Do not let your knees cave in
- Press straight up through your feet and pelvis area
- Keep your scapula aligned with your midfoot