To begin the leg squat exercise, start with your legs spaced shoulder width apart paying close attention to your foot positioning prior to the movement. To start the squatting movement it’s usually best to have your toes pointed outward slightly, how much being based on your particular body mechanics. Plan to experiment with several different foot angles and placements to see which ones are most comfortable and feel the most natural for you. Comfort and safety is paramount during this exercise movement.
You will begin the movement by lowering your body to the position where your upper thigh becomes parallel with the floor. If you don’t go down this far its okay but if you don’t, you reduce the movement’s workload on the leg muscles. However, going down more than parallel is dangerous and can cause injury to your knees in the long term. You just should not do it. During the leg squat exercise, you want to keep your eyes looking up and forward and in front of you as this will prevent you from having a poor, hunching posture. Your back and shoulders must remain straight and upright as you perform the exercise so that you can get its full benefit working the muscles correctly and remain safe. Bending or hunching forward will force the stress and work being performed away from the front of the upper thighs (quadriceps) to the butt and back of the upper thighs (gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles). From this point where your upper thigh is parallel to the ground, you will press your body upward to the point where your knees are slightly bent, not locked out. Locking your knees out on the positive portion of this movement will reduce your body’s stability and direct the stress right through your knee joints (which is not good for them in the long term) away from the leg muscles reducing the effectiveness of the exercise. You will then repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions and sets.
Performed correctly, you would be feeling most of the work for this leg exercise in the front of your upper thighs. If you want to really up the intensity of this exercise, slow down the pace of the movement or use a barbell (resting on your trapezious muscles behind your neck) or two dumbells (one for each hand) weighted down to add increased resistance. Performing the movement with very high repetitions such as 25 or more with reduced weight is also a very effective way to increase the intensity of the movement. You have many choices as to how to incorporate the leg squat exercise into your leg workout routine.
If you have a medical condition you should consult your physician before performing this exercise. Always use caution when performing this or any other exercise movement you are not familiar with.