How to Do a Proper Bodyweight Squat | Nerd Fitness

– What’s up everybody? Steve Kamb from here. I’m here joined by Staci Ardison and Jim Bathurst. Two members of Team Nerd Fitness. We are at Day One of Camp Nerd Fitness. I wanted to shoot a quick video for you to discuss how to do a
proper bodyweight squat. Seems something simple, something we do all day long. We get up and sit down
from our desk chair, but most people don’t
actually do them properly. I wanted Jim to walk us
through some mistakes that people make when
they do a bodyweight squat and how to do them properly. (electronic music) Jim, what do you say? – Cool, awesome We’ll start off with Staci. We’re gonna start with a foot placement. We wanna make sure it’s
not too super close or also not really wide. Around shoulder width apart. That’s obviously too wide. Around shoulder width apart. In terms of the way the feet face, a lot of people are gonna find
a much more comfortable squat if they turn their tows out just slightly, 15 to 30 degrees or so. Again, everyone’s gonna
be a little bit different in their squats simply for the fact that our bodies are a little bit different based on limb length and
mobility and strength and what have you. Once we’ve got the feet set up, we’re gonna make sure those
feet stay well-balanced and we keep the heels on the ground. A lot of times I’ll
see people go to squat, they’ll lift their heels up, get on their toes. Again, no good whatsoever. We wanna keep things nice and solid, keep a good foundation
just like anything else. Once we’ve got the feet set, what I like to cue next is
keeping a good chest-up position. If I start to curl forward, it’s not going to be very good, especially if I start moving
toward other exercises like a barbell squat. Chest up is a good cue here like this. Once we get ourselves set up like this, we can also even put
our hands out like this to help facilitate that cue. If your hands start to drop, then you know that your chest
is probably dropping as well, as you can see. You have phenomenal posture regardless, so don’t look at that. So, chest up. – Kind like a zombie. – Chest up, hands up like this. – [Zombie] Brains. – [Man] No! – Now as we start to squat on down what I like to cue is just
starting off on the hips just a little bit before the knees. That’ll help keep the balance in the feet. If you bend the knees too soon or at the beginning, a lot of times people will
come forward on their toes just a little too much. Load the hips up. Hips start just before the knees and then squatting on down. That’s the second cue. Talking about the knees, another big mistake that we tend to see is the knees caving in as we squat. We wanna make sure that the
knees track over the feet. Right now let’s do the incorrect squat of the knees caving in. She can squat, but it’s not gonna be
good news for her knees especially in the long run. When I say tracking, what I mean is that if I
draw a line from heel to toe that we want the heels in that line. This is good. Push ’em inwards. This is bad. Bad. Okay, open up. Good. – Good, Staci. – That’s the Veras position. That’s too far. We want them right in line like this and then right on up. Now, another thing that
we get asked all the time is should the knees come
forward over the toes. – Then everything explodes, right? – Explosion. – Everything explodes and
you can never walk again. – Everything falls apart. – The world ends. – It’s crazy. – Keeping your knees out over your toes. – It’s insane. It’s crossing the streams. – You’re going to endanger us. You are going to endanger our client, the nice lady who paid us in advance. – As we can see right here, again, if I dropped a line
straight from the knees it’s clearly past the toes. – That’s totally okay. – That is totally okay, you’ll see especially in
sports like Olympic lifting that you absolutely need
this good ankle flexion, good knee forward squat position in order to be able to catch a bar upright and do things like the
clean and the snatch and all this other fun
stuff we learn at camp. Now, just because the knees are forward, we still want the heels down. This is still all the
way down on the ground making sure that we still
have that solid foundation we had before. Hop on up. We’ll take it from the bottom and the top. Feet are set about shoulder width apart, turned out slightly. Chest is up. Hands can be up to
facilitate that movement. It’s gonna be hips back
just slightly to start and then you’re bending
your hips and knees. Knees tracking over the feet like that. Steve, what are some
of the common mistakes that you tend to see? – I think one is that we
call it a power curtsy. – Okay. – It’s just people not
realizing that’s not a squat. You gotta drop your butt to the ground. – Absolutely. That’s usually caused by
people having too much weight on the barbell. That’s easily remedied, but if you are doing a bodyweight squat and you find I’m just kinda
falling out of position, my chest is dropping and my knees are coming in like this, what you can do is you
can do an assisted squat. Super simple. I can use a box. I can use a power rack. I’ll stand right behind you. Staci, come up here. She can literally just use
that box for a light assist. Get the same thing set up as before. Feet set out, turned out slightly. Chest is up. Hands on the box as you start to descend. From here, make sure that
we’re not leaning back. A lot of times people … You really can’t lean back with a box or you’ll tip it right on top of you. Some people lean back too far, like they are water skiing. No good, okay. We wanna keep a balance
just like a regular squat. – If you go down. – So, we’re not water skiing. – What’s that? No. Is that next year for Camp Nerd Fitness? I can’t wait. I still haven’t done the blog. Anyway, let’s get our hands
set on the box like this. You’ll know you’re in a good position with this assisted squat if, squat down to the bottom just to squat, You know you’re in a good position if you can remove your hands
from whatever you are using. Boom. And still stay balanced with no movement. Hands right on and right back up. Staci, of course, squatting pro so she doesn’t need this at all, but if you do need this you’ll feel it because it’s might be
very tight in your hips as you go down toward the
bottom of the range of motion. You wanna make sure that the chest is up, the lower back is nice and tight and everything is nice and
balanced in your squat. – Sweet, cool. Thanks, guys. Make sure you check out
the rest of our videos and head on over to in case you want to learn more
about us and the rebellion. Cheers. (shooting) – Gotcha.

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