The Chair Squats exercise is one of the Active level strength exercises in the Exercise for Better Bones program. The chair squats targets the quadriceps, buttocks and the hips.
The chair squat is something that allows you to get control over one of the most basic tasks that we do every day, getting on and off the chair, getting on and off of the toilet, getting in and out of a car. The ability to do so in a controlled and easy manner.
Getting up and down from chairs should be an easy task. But if you’re struggling with it, then working on a chair squat is a good way to start.
If this is too difficult, I encourage you to move back to the beginning level, wall and ball squat.
1. Chair Squats • Start
While you come up from a chair I’m going to have you place your hands on your hips because all too often people want to push up from their legs. Place hands on your hips or across your chest whichever you’re most comfortable with.
2. Chair Squats • Breathe
Take your breath in and go down towards the chair. Just feel the chair behind you, and press your feet into the floor as you come back up. Again breathe in, slowly, gently tighten your tummy, start exhaling as you go down, feel the chair, and press back up.
3. Chair Squats • Alignment is Important
Form is very important in terms of where your alignment is, where your knees are placed over your toes. To help you know whether or not your form is correct, you can pick two sticks, or two golf clubs, or broom handles, anything that you have around you.
Ideally working with a mirror in front of you to look at your alignment, place the two sticks right in front of your second toe. With them in the straight vertical plane, you want to look at straight ahead, take your breath in, exhale as you’re going down, keeping your tummy tight.
You want to ensure that you’re knee caps are hiding right behind the sticks, and press back up. If your tendency is to draw your knees in which it is for many people, you can first start ensuring that you’re keeping things from the floor, keeping your arch strong.
Oftentimes we cave in on the foot, and that brings the knee in, so ensure that you’re weight bearing enough to the outside of your foot.
The weight should be under your heel, your great toe, and your fifth toe, and then secondly you want to make sure that your muscles around your hip are involved in the squat.
Your hip muscles are responsible for actually keeping your knees open. Oftentimes my clients, when I ask them to open up more, they’ll actually start placing their feet up more.
By placing your feet up more, all that does it makes you have to get your knees up into a bigger squat.
Your knees can be turned up to 30, 40 degrees whatever you’re comfortable with, or they can be straight ahead, but your knees need to follow your second toe.
Okay, one more time from the top. Breath in and go down into your squat, lower your buttocks towards the chair and press back up. If you want to know that your form is good, then you can get rid of your sticks.
You don’t need to do them or have them with you for your whole form and that’s it for the chair squats.
Safe Chair Squats
If you are concerned about your bone health and osteoporosis, follow my guidelines on Safe Squat if You Have Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Exercise Plan
Visit my Osteoporosis Exercise Plan page for more information on this topic.