What Are Squat Exercises

A squat is a strength exercise in which the trainee lowers their hips from a standing position and then stands back up. During the descent of a squat, the hip and knee joints flex while the ankle joint dorsiflexes; conversely the hip and knee joints extend and the ankle joint plantarflexes when standing up.

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Jackson Sayers, B.Sc. (Kinesiology), discusses weight-assisted strength squats.

Quiz: Do You Understand Leg Strength Squats?

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Squats can increase ankle and hip mobility.

Squats work many different muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Squats can help increase ankle and hip mobility by strengthening muscles over time.

You should not consume carbohydrates before exercising, only afterwards to replenish energy.

Fueling up before exercise helps maintain optimal levels of blood glucose for the muscles.

Squats don't target your core muscles.

Squats target your core muscles, which are made up of the rectus abdominis, erector spinae, obliques and transverse abdominis.

There are mental health benefits to exercise.

Studies show that exercise may help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise releases powerful chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, which improve mood and feelings of well-being. It can lower cortisol (also called the “stress hormone”) levels and improve your sleep.

Cutting out protein can be an effective weight loss tool.

If you're trying to lose weight, eating a recommended amount of protein is still essential. Protein supports overall health and helps preserve your muscle mass.
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Jackson Sayers, B.Sc. (Kinesiology), discusses standing squat gluteal strength exercises.

Jackson Sayers, B.Sc. (Kinesiology), discusses standing squat-assisted gluteal strength exercises.

Weight Assisted Strength Squat

To add a little bit of resistance and a little bit of upper bodywork when you do a squat, I like to use a Swiss ball.

It’s a great tool to sort of connect the upper back with the lower back. So when you’re doing a squat, if you simply have a Swiss ball in your hand, you get your pelvis into that nice position where you’re gonna bend from it, and you start to move down, you can keep that Swiss ball right out in front of you.

And what it’ll do is it’ll really fire up your lats and your upper back, and that in conjunction with the lower body, will really make a good motion. So when you’re thinking about adding a little bit of resistance in your squat, and you wanna work the upper body, use a Swiss ball, keep it out in front of you, go down into your squat position, just keep the ball out in front.

And you’ll find that it puts a nice bit of resistance on the upper body in conjunction with the lower body, and then you can coordinate the upper with the lower into a nice physical motion. Local Kinesiologist 

Presenter: Mr. Jackson Sayers, Kinesiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Kinesiologist

Gluteal Strength Standing Squat Exercise

Standing squats are a motion we can do almost anywhere, and they’re probably one of the most fundamental motions we should be doing all the time.

There’s just a couple of things you always want to be thinking about when you’re doing a standing squat.

One is obviously our pelvis position and one is the position of our knee when we’re in the full squat, and a lot of people make a mistake by having the knee very much in a forward position.

So what I like to do is I’d like us to really focus on getting that weight in our pelvis much in a back position and that’s the main focal point of a good squat is that bum going backwards.

We get sown into a nice squatting position like that, and the fundamental thing we want to be thinking about when we’re down here is that our knees aren’t above our toes, that our toes are just a nice shoulder width apart.

From there we get down into a nice squat. I like to keep my hands up above me because that activates my upper back, and from there I simply come up to a nice standing position, not legs straight, from there we go right back down again.

Don’t be afraid to hold it down there, don’t be afraid to get into those major gluteal muscles in your bum and really contract them and get them working. Get down into a nice squat position and start to comeback up again. Repetitions are anywhere between 10 and 20, you can do them nice and slow, really focus on a good pelvis position, balance being vey good. Local Practitioners: Kinesiologist

Presenter: Mr. Jackson Sayers, Kinesiologist, Vancouver, BC

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