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Hello Sweet Friend
Last week my parents and I drove from Florida to Pennsylvania to visit my Grandmother (Dad’s mom). This was probably the last time I’ll see her alive in my lifetime. Normally, I would have booked a flight but this was a last minute trip because she had another stroke.
I too have back issues that I talk about from time to time. I have 2 herniated discs in my spine…. The results of a car accident when a guy ran a red light and totaled my car a few years ago. I’ve always considered the accident to be a blessing in disguise because if it wasn’t for that car accident I wouldn’t have had motivation to extensively research foods and how to use foods to ramp up the metabolism when you’re physically unable to exercise, and holistically, to heal, reduce inflammation, undo toxic build-up… which has allowed me to better help more people. (Yayyyy!) Although it’s physically painful for me to squat with (and sometimes without weights), I’ve been able to adjust my exercise and my back has been ok… until last week that is.
While out of town last week I threw my back out. Like couldn’t bend over, cried when I sneezed couldn’t get on/off the toilet, out. I’m not sure if it was the change in weather, 19-hour car ride or the emotional roller coaster ride being scared and sad for 2 of the most important ladies in my life… but by the 3rd day of my trip I could barely walk. Out-of-state medical intervention helped tremendously. I’m feeling a lot better now and actually made it into the gym for the first time in a week.
From my elliptical machine, I saw a few ladies squatting with form that was all wrong. While they thought they were working on boosting their booty’s they were really at risk for blowing out their knees and killing their lumbar. That’s what inspired today’s episode of CCtv. How to squat with proper form without killing your spine. I know big booty’s are all the rage right now and most people start trying to boost their buns by squatting. But, if you’re not squatting with proper form, you’re wasting your time and killing your spine (and knees!). If you’ve been trying to boost your buns this is for you!
How to Squat Correctly to Save your Spine get a Bubble Butt
Lots of ladies have commented that my squat challenge has gotten them amazing results… but now I want to make sure you understand how to squat correctly, so you can protect your spine and stay injury free. Follow these 5 steps to get the best possible results and burn the most calories while boosting your butt and saving your poor spine. xo
Step 1) Squat by Moving your Booty Back and Down
This is a big mistake I see… it may seem natural to lower your butt down towards the floor. But to target your butt muscles it’s really important that you hinge at your hips and drive your booty back and down. From a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down to about 90º, keeping your knees over your toes….
Step 1 blends into Step 2… which is…
Step 2) Stack your Knees Over your Toes when You Squat
Taking your butt back and down helps make sure your knees won’t stick out past your toes. It’s hella important your knees never go past your toes. You can blow out your knees this way, because your ligaments and tendons are hyperextending past their comfort zone… think of a rubber band… once you’ve stretched it ‘too far’ it becomes taught and will eventually snap. An easy breezy way to make sure your knees are less likely to venture forward towards your toes is to load your weight on your heels instead of your toes. You’ll also be able to get more depth to your squat increasing the benefit, adding more bubble to your butt.
Step 3) Squat with Neutral Posture
i.e. Face Forward, Chest Out/Shoulders Back
I can’t emphasize the importance of protecting your back by using neutral spine friendly posture enough. One major mistake people make when they squat is rounding their necks, looking around, or arching their backs… all of which throw the spinal alignment off automatically, making the squat a very dangerous exercise, especially if you are using a lot of weight. By keeping your shoulders back and your chest up out, your lower back will most likely have the correct natural curve. It’s important to keep your low back flat, with a natural arch as you squat. Heart up, shoulders back, look forward, and lower your butt back and down… not arching your back to pop your booty out. When you arch your back you’re loading your lumbar with weight, which can put significant pressure on the intervertebral discs, soft gel like cushions that protect your vertebrae. If one of those discs pop out… well, you’ll feel a whole world of pain… possibly for life.
Step 4) Squat with a Wide Stance
Use a stance with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and firmly planted on the ground. Slightly point your toes outward for extra stability. The wider your feet, the more muscles you work at once. More Muscles = More Calories Burned. Also, the wider stance ensures you’re working your glutes and hamstring (back of the leg), and the easier it will be to stabilize. The closer in you put your feet, the more your quadriceps will be emphasized (the front of the leg).
Step 5) Breathe and Squeeze as you Squat
Breathing is very important for squatting as you are lowering yourself, remember to take a deep breath in, then as you push up on your heels, breathe out forcefully as you squeeze your buns tightly. As you squeeze the air out of your lungs, squeeze your buns.
And that’s it, 5 steps to squat to save your spine and build a bubble butt. I hope these tips have been helpful for you, and if I left anything out that you think is important, or you have any questions, please leave a comment!
As always, the tips in this post only work, if you work it!
So work it, you are so worth it!
As always my tips and tricks ONLY work, if you work it. So work it! YOU ARE SO WORTH IT!
Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader
Would you like a complete exercise program that’s perfect for the results you want? I’ve got your back! Learn more about my Reshape Exercise Programs designed to get you the EXACT results you want here.
Christina Carlyle is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Sports Nutrition Specialist, Personal Trainer, Health Coach, & Behavior Modification Specialist. After overcoming her own health issues, getting off 7 medications, & losing 40 pounds (& keeping it off for 10+ years) she’s dedicated to helping others get Happy, Healthy, & Fit for life, with science-backed strategies. Christina shares real deal (no BS) weight loss and wellness advice, workouts, and recipes that get results and work in the real world.