5 Minutes for Fitness: Squats

I cringe when people tell me they don’t do squats because they “hurt their knees”. The squat is a fundamental part of our lives! In fact, it is considered an “activity of daily living” when performing fitness assessments on seniors.
Squats are an excellent exercise that can be done anywhere and require no equipment. They will tone your backside and help sculpt your legs.

I have a knee injury, so I understand there might be discomfort involved. The key here is to master your form, and then adapt as necessary.

So what does a perfect squat look like?

Just take a glance at any baby or toddler nearby. Their spine is in alignment, their knees are in line with their toes, and they can easily move in and out of the position. Most children can squat so low to the ground that it appears as if they are sitting down.

I don’t know many adults (myself included) that can get that low with their squat. Modify the exercise by sinking down to your challenge point while maintaining focus on proper alignment. Practice your squats in front of a mirror to make sure that your back stays flat and you are keeping your knees in line.

Just starting out? Do your squats up against a wall. Look down and you should be able to see your toes. If not, your knees are too far out and you need to readjust.

Today’s challenge for you is to do 50 squats. Yes, you can! They do not have to be done all at once, just get 50 done before the end of the day and report back here. Go on now, get moving!

This column is hosted by Lisa. She can be found doing squats and lunges over at Workout Mommy.


  1. says

    Squats are so important! And it is true that babies do squats all day long. That is how my daughters both did puzzles and play in the sand sometimes. When I was pregnant with my first daughter I did prenatal yoga and one of the exercises was practicing that kind of squat. It helped with stretching the perineum and helping to open our hips for child birth. It is amazing how many yoga poses babies do all on their own too!
    Thanks for the motivation–here I go to start on my 50!

  2. says

    Thanks Lisa!

    I’ve always thought I can’t do squats b/c I have such bad knees… so I never tried.

    But I just tried doing some leaning my back against the wall and that really helped. So I’m going to keep up with that and build up to doing them normally.

    Thank you soooooo much for the inspiration and ideas!!!!

  3. says

    I did my fifty… all in a row. lol Then my legs were like jelly! Made me realize what a good exercise this would be for me… thanks for the challenge! :-)

  4. says

    As a personal trainer I see the squat performed in many differing ways and unfortunately mostly wrong. There is only one way to do a squat and I would like to add that you have described it brilliantly. It should be pointed out that you should go down no lower than 90 degrees at the knee. Otherwise you stress the knee joint out too much. I have made it my mission to help people learn perfect technique for exercise so if you would like to see a video and description for the squat please have a look here http://beeblefitness.com/7/library/exercise/1/squat_body_weight/

    Love your blog and keep up the great work.


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