This is the most fundamental (in our opinion) and basic exercise there is. Using a guiding support, such as a chair, minimizes risks of falling for elderly individuals, or for those who have balance issues. Check out the video and bulleted points to ensure you’re maximizing benefits and minimizing risks.
- Weight focused on lateral heel and 1st metacarpal head.
- Posture controlled: pelvis neutral with core muscles engaged; shoulders back and down; neck neutral.
- Move through flexion of the hip joint first, following with knee flexion as secondary movement.
- With hips moving back, keep knees tracking over feet, maintaining center of mass over ankle joint.
- If your weight shifts to the forefoot, you’re increasing strain through the knee joint and anterior chain!
- Limit your depth based on mobility – lower back should not round at all.
- Keep neck neutral – avoid excessive extension.
- Keep chest pointed “forward”: maintain upright torso posture.
- Push through the heels (glut activation), keeping knees tracking in line with feet.
This is an exercise everyone should be doing (with appropriate modifications for select populations) regularly. It engages several lower extremity muscles and stabilizes the pelvis (core and postural training), while developing and promoting proper movement and mobility through the joints.