Chair squats are a great variation for ordinary squats the most notable difference being the introduction of a chair. They are mostly done by beginners starting out on resistance strength training.
This exercise is more accommodative as you won’t necessarily rely on stability making it a good starting point to learning how to do a squat well.
Using a chair helps better hip flexion as well as your movements, reducing the horror that comes with finding balance as you complete a regular squat.
To set your body up for a traditional set, you can first train with a chair that will be put behind your legs. The chair being there will aid you to drive your hips in the right manner.
WHAT TO DO
- Look for a stable chair that you will place directly behind you as you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes facing directly forward. Both your chest and head should be a little bit raised as you place your arms at your sides.
- Ensure that your core is involved throughout the entire exercise and for balance purposes, you can raise your arms as you go down. Begin bending your knees as you lower your hips to slightly touch the chair at the edge without sitting on it
- Push your hips upward and to the front by squeezing your hamstrings and glutes back to the initial position. Do this exercise till you feel a bit of tension on your muscles.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CHAIR SQUATS WORK?
Hamstrings are found at the back portion of your pelvis running all the way to your lower leg. They take part in movements of your hips and knees.
Hamstrings work alongside your glutes when you lower your hips to get into contact with the edge of your chair. They are responsible for hip flexion.
When you push your hips to lift your body up, your hamstrings will contract in order to fully stretch out your hips.
As mentioned earlier, your core should be involved in the entire workout. The core has many muscle groups but the erector spinae are actively engaged when you squat.
These muscles are located close to your spinal cord going all the way to your lower back. They offer stability by preventing you from falling to the ground and keeping your back straight.
Your gluteus maximus and medius are the gluteal muscles mainly worked during this exercise. They are activated from the beginning till the end of this workout.
The gluteus maximus as the largest part of your glute muscles is in charge of balance of your body as your hips move. Your gluteus medius are on the sides of your glutes alongside your hamstrings help in hip abduction.
CHAIR SQUATS EXERCISES BENEFITS
MUSCLE PREPARATION FOR A SQUAT
Chair squats are a great way to train and build up muscle strength in order to do a squat without assistance. As you regularly perform this exercise you will notice a boost in your flexibility, balance and overall form.
After sometime, give yourself a challenge by ditching the chair. This will test your muscle strength as well as preparedness to go all the way down as you perform your squat.
Every time you do this exercise, you strengthen your muscles which will in turn give your body the correct form and balance. Injuries may arise if you go full force on a regular squat with weak and underdeveloped knees and ankles.
To counter this work your muscles starting with chair squats all the way to the original squat. You will experience less pain as you progress.
MINIMIZE STRAIN DURING PERFORMANCE
Performing a normal squat comes with its challenges especially if you have pre-existing injuries. This chair exercise therefore acts a safety net lowering your chances of falling, overworking your knees and generally injuring yourself.
You can now learn how to perform squats properly without any fear of getting hurt.
ALTERNATIVES TO CHAIR SQUATS
DOWNWARD DOG LEG KICK
Downward dog leg kick commences in the plank posture with your hands shoulder-width apart. Raise your hips and literally do a dog facing downward pose that entails your tailbone facing up and your feet onto the floor.
Raise your left leg upwards pointing it back then lower it down. Redo this on your right leg and switch from one leg to the other.
Just like its name, this exercise engages the glutes as well as hips. This workout requires you to lie on your back and bend your knees while engaging your core.
Your feet should not be too far away from your bum. Raise your hips upward by squeezing your glutes.
Pause for three seconds then finish the rep by resuming your initial position.
BANDED LATERAL WALK
This exercise works your glutes, knees, hips and feet making it a great alternative to chair squats. To start off, put a resistance band below your feet that should be hip-width apart.
Then bend your knees slightly, prepare to step your right foot outwards on your sides and switch to your left foot and do the same. This exercise works by switching your feet from left to right.
CHAIR SQUATS MISTAKES TO AVOID
NOT MAINTAINING A STRAIGHT POSTURE
Your form as you carry out this exercise needs to stay upright so that you can reap its full benefits. Arching your back will increase the risk of injury as you will be straining it.
Although the focus of this exercise is the lower body, maintaining a good upper body posture is key. Another important aspect when it comes to form is to avoid rounding your shoulders that can cause dire backaches in the future.
STRESSING YOUR TOES
As you execute this exercise, you will realize that a lot of pressure on your feet and toes particularly. Balance the tension evenly and go easy on your toes.
Relax your toes when you do this workout and you will see better results.
With chair squats you have no excuse to perform squats especially if you are a beginner. Practice this workout consistently to be able to achieve stronger and more flexible muscles.
In no time, you will be in a position to take the tension and hack a squat without support.