Did you know that we are creatures designed to squat, but over the years we have gotten out of the habit, due to modern day living, modern day furniture etc.
When we squat it helps us to keep our hip and knee joints supple, it increases mobility in the ankles too- which is a major benefit as we get older as this is an area that can get really restricted as we age.
Obviously squatting helps improve your leg muscles, but they also help your balance and knee stability.
When they are done correctly and regularly as part of your exercise regime they will help improve your everyday movements meaning when you go to sit down on a chair or pick up a heavy object, you will be doing so in a way that is much safer for your spine, doing this regularly will then become a good habit.
Like most great pilates exercises our 'mid body muscles or 'centre powerhouse' kick in to support you when squatting making them the perfect exercise to build and maintain extra strength and support.
To do a pilates squat, firstly make sure you are standing correctly with even weight in both feet and feet positioned at hip width. Ideal body position is with a neutral spine- with your ribs evenly balanced over your pelvis, your centre muscles gently activated. As you inhale keep a feeling of length in the spine and squat, bending at the knees as you hinge at the hips. On the exhale straighten back to standing.
Some tips to ensure for correct execution are;
Try not to arch at the spine at any point, gently engaging in your centre muscles throughout this will help you to keep a 'neutral' spine possition. Also be mindful your head position stays in line with the spine as it moves forwards in space. Keep your weight even on both feet throughout and do not lower the pelvis lower than your knees.
Try to do at least two times a week with a repetition of 10.