The squat is one of the most common exercises, and is often called the “king of exercises”.
We highly recommend trying out this exercise, as it can be used with and without weights and has a long list of health benefits. So, if you are interested in learning more about squats, you have come to the right place. We’ll talk about how you can perform squats, the history of squats, common mistakes, the world record for this exercise, and other relevant information. So, keep reading this post! I reccomend reading this article before you attempt any Squat max attempts. As with all strength training it is important to use proper technique.
The Squat Max Calculator is an estimation of your 1 RM (Rep Max) Squat.
The History of The Squat
The motion of the squat has been around since the dawn of time. Humans instinctively use this movement to sit, lift things off the ground, and rest when there is nowhere to sit. Squatting has even been used in ancient yoga practices over the past few thousand years, and is incorporated into jnana yoga specifically.
Origins of The Squat 16th to 17th Century
But, when did this exercise really grow its roots and settle into mainstream popularity? To answer this question, we have to look back to the time of strong men. During the 16th and 17th centuries, weightlifting strongmen popularized many different types of exercises. This included the squat. Eugene Sandow, one of the first bodybuilders, used a squat-like exercise to train.
Squats were not as popular back then as they are today, but they started to be used more by strongmen during this time period. It seems crazy to think that squats weren’t a part of people’s regular fitness routine, but it took time for this exercise to really develop.
Origins of the Squat 20th Century to Present Day
It wasn’t till the 1930s that squatting really took off. Milo Steinborn is often considered to be the first person to popularize a barbell squat. While he didn’t create the barbell squat, he did make this exercise more widespread, and he even created a popular version of the squat called the Steinborn lift.
Paul Anderson was the next person to push forward the squat. When he beat a world record in 1956, at the Olympics, he really catapulted squats into the spotlight. His gold medal for his squatting made him highly influential in the weight lifting and fitness world.
A few other weightlifters would go on to beat this record and continue the tradition of squatting. And popular fitness enthusiasts have been promoting squatting since the 1930s. Thus, nowadays, most people who are into fitness use the squat. This is because there are many benefits that come with this exercise.
How to Properly Perform A Squat
Squats are relatively easy to perform. This is because they are a functional exercise that is actually used in many of your daily tasks. For instance, when you sit in a chair or bend down to pick something off the floor, you use a squat-like motion.
We are all familiar with the squat and its motion, but you want to make sure that you are performing your squat correctly. Otherwise, you can end up hurting yourself and creating problems for your knees. The following section will go over the steps of the squat in detail:
1. Get Into Your Squatting Position
The first thing you want to do is get into your squat position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your toes turned out a little. Your back should stay straight and your shoulders should be relaxed and down. Keep your core tightened as well.
2. Push Your Feet Into the Ground
Next, you want to press down through your feet and keep yourself firmly planted in the ground. Grounding your feet will help stabilize your position and help you activate your leg muscles better.
3. Keep Your Chest Up
Your chest also needs to be facing upward. This way you won’t put stress on your spine. An upward-facing chest also keeps your posture straight and strong.
4. Bend Your Knees and Push Back
After straightening yourself out, you want to begin the motion of a squat. Bend your knees and then lower yourself towards the ground. Push your hips back; your butt should start to go out like you are sitting.
5. Make Your Legs Parallel to The Ground
Your legs should not bend inward either; they need to be parallel with the ground. To do this, when you bend your knees, make sure that your knees are bent right above your first or second toe.
6. Pause in The Squat Position
Stay in your full squat position for a few seconds. This will help work the muscles in your lower body.
7. Keep Your Feet Planted
Keep your feet planted firmly in the ground and then push yourself up into a standing position after you are done pausing your squat. Make sure your chest stays pointed up the whole time.
8. Finish Your Squat Reps
You can choose how many squat reps you do, but we recommend doing at least 12-15. Do your reps, then move on to your next exercise.
Common Squat Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
There are a few common mistakes that people make when they are doing squats. We’ll go over what those mistakes are and how you can correct them here.
1. You Don’t Go Low Enough
One big mistake that people make is not squatting down low enough. When you don’t squat down low, then you are decreasing the efficiency of the squat, and you won’t gain as much muscle.
To fix this, make sure that your legs are parallel to the ground. If you want you can bend down even further to get even more out of your workout.
2. You Let Your Knees Bend Inward
Another common mistake made with squats is bending your knees inward. It’s tempting to let your knees collapse inward, but you can actually damage the ligaments in your knees.
So, position your knees so they are going in the same direction as your feet, and make sure that your knees are bent above your first or second toe.
3. Lifting Up Your Heels
In addition, you want to keep your feet firmly grounded on whatever surface you are exercising on. Don’t lift up your heels, especially when you are using weights when you squat. This can create injuries in your knees.
4. Rounding The Back
Rounding the back can also be an issue for anyone who is new to squats. It’s easy to make this mistake. But if you keep your chest out and your shoulders down your posture will stay correct as you squat. Your back needs to be flat so that you can squat safely.
5. Not Using Your Glutes
Finally, you need to use your glutes when you squat. Your glutes are incredibly powerful muscles that can help you squat even better. Squeeze your glutes and ensure that your hips are extended back.
Benefits of The Squat
1. Improves Your Bone and Joint Health
Contrary to popular belief, squats are actually great for your joints. Doing this exercise regularly will help strengthen your knees and other major bones in the body.
2. Improves Your Body Posture
If you want to improve your posture, then the squat is an ideal exercise. Squats strengthen the muscles in your lower body and core. This makes it easier to keep your back straight and tall. Keeping your back neutral during a squat also helps improve your overall posture.
3. Great For Strength Training
If you want to strengthen your lower body through strength training, then you need to squat regularly. Squats not only target your core, they also keep your leg muscles in top form. Your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and abductors are just a few of the muscles that will gain major strength from this exercise.
4. Great For Weight Loss
Finally, squats are one of the best exercises for weight loss. Squatting can be made into a high-intensity workout. This is because the motion of squatting burns a ton of calories. Adding weights to your squatting will also improve weight loss outcomes!
Muscles Engaged by The Squat
The squat engages several different muscle groups in the lower body. We’ll talk about which specific muscles are used when squatting here.
- Your quadriceps are located right on the front portion of your thighs and go from your hips to your knees. Squatting will activate these muscles and tone your legs.
- Hamstrings are also affected by squatting. They are located behind the quadriceps and make up the backside of your thighs.
- Glutes, also known as the buttocks, are one of the major muscle groups impacted by this exercise. If you want to tone your glutes you need to add squats to your fitness routine.
- Your thighs and glutes are not the only regions of muscles affected by squats. Your calves also get a nice workout from this exercise.
- Your core muscles, also known as your abdominals, get a great workout with this exercise too.
- Finally, this exercise can engage your lower back if you use a barbell while squatting.
World Record For The Squat (Men & Women)
Squat Record For Men
- The world record for the biggest equipped squat, with a multi-ply squat suit and knee wraps, is 1,312 lb performed by Nathan Baptist.
- The raw world record with knee wraps is 1,157 lb performed by Vlad Alhazov.
- The raw world record without knee wraps belongs to Ray Williams who lifted 490 kg 1,080 lb.
Squat Record For Women
- The women’s world record with a multi-ply suit is held by American Becca Swanson with a recorded competition lifting 854 lb.
- The women’s world record raw without knee-wraps is held by April Mathis with 615 lb on.
Why the Squat Max calculator is so good
The Benefit of a Squat 1RM calculation
After reading some history and technical facts about Squats, you are probably eager to run some Squats. But take it easy. Do not try to break the world record right away.
It is very easy to get carried away. Especially when you start to notice a little progress, or big progress. When you have strength trained for a while and you have overcome the first difficult phase, you feel how it starts to “itch” in the muscles and you put on more and more weights. “Today I feel strong, I will test what I can do most in a 1RM Squat”. You sometimes have such days.
Before making an attempt to test your max, it is important that you are well prepared, because the risk of injury increases sharply the closer you get to the limit of your capacity. Muscle strength develops faster than, for example, tendons and ligaments build up their endurance.
So take it easy and test your “max Squats” using 1 RM Sqat calculator instead. It is much gentler on the body, and surprisingly reliable. Above all, it is an excellent method for measuring progress without significantly increasing the risk of injury.