Squat-phobic and Need Advice!

  • aroydee

    Posts: 15

    May 04, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    I will be honest here... I have been avoiding squats because I am afraid I will make a fool out of myself.

    I keep hearing that they are one of the best possible exercises to be doing in the gym, however -- and they are part of a new exercise regimen I am trying religiously to follow. I work out in a pretty well equipped gym. Is there a secret to gaining confidence on the squat rack, or...is there another exercise I can do to achieve similar, if not identical, benefits?

    Thanks guys!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 04, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    I'm not sure I understand what you're afraid of. You can look at the resources here to see a video of the correct form to use. If you've never done it before, start with an empty bar to get the feel of it, then work up to whatever weight you need. We all have to start somewhere, there's no shame in it.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    May 04, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    You could try the hack squat machine or the smith machine to get you familiar with the movement.

    Keep in mind once you do switch to the barbell, you'll want to lower the weight that you did with the "guided" machines until you get used to the "free-range" motion

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    May 04, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    Hi - don't worry- you are not the first guy to be worried about squats. I am a personal trainer and hated squats when I was qualifying. The squat rack was scary and I had trouble keeping form and balance with a bar bell. I even avoided teaching them to clients. Then I thought this is ridiculous. So I found an expert colleague who worked with me patiently for two or three weeks staring with no weights and gradually building up to using the squat rack and then on to core squats. It is a great exercise and I love it. Just get someone who knows what he is doing and get him to teach you. You will be fine!
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    May 04, 2009 4:38 PM GMT
    NYCguy74 saidYou could try the hack squat machine or the smith machine to get you familiar with the movement.

    Keep in mind once you do switch to the barbell, you'll want to lower the weight that you did with the "guided" machines until you get used to the "free-range" motion



    That is exactly what I did to transition to squats. I liked Hack Squats a whole lot more than using the smith machine as the range of motion was unnatural on the latter.

    Additionally, you can put a bench behind you and squat down until your butt hit the bench. That way, at worse you just sit down rather than fall on your ass.

    Best of luck.
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    May 04, 2009 6:59 PM GMT
    aroydee saidI will be honest here... I have been avoiding squats because I am afraid I will make a fool out of myself.

    I keep hearing that they are one of the best possible exercises to be doing in the gym, however -- and they are part of a new exercise regimen I am trying religiously to follow. I work out in a pretty well equipped gym. Is there a secret to gaining confidence on the squat rack, or...is there another exercise I can do to achieve similar, if not identical, benefits?

    Thanks guys!


    The secret is {drumroll} practice.

    Quit making excuses and get going on it.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    May 04, 2009 7:26 PM GMT
    I wouldn't use the Smith machine. The motion is unnatural and it can stress out your knees.

    Just start with the bar and work up. Everyone starts somewhere, and really no one else at your gym cares what you're lifting.
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    May 04, 2009 7:51 PM GMT
    Yep. They may laugh at you for lifting like an idiot, but, they won't laugh at you for making an effort.
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    May 04, 2009 11:08 PM GMT
    what chucky and muchmore said

    If you want you can work related stuff to help you get your training wheels

    Start with just a bar (and if 45lb is too much, start with a smaller bar). Then add weight every time. until you are getting where you want to be (1.5 bodyweight say some)

    To start with this ainĀ“t gonna work your legs much: you are learning technique and strengthening your body as a unit, so you can add bulgarian spilt squats, body weight one leg squats, and static holds at the bottom to work the legs alone if you want to. I was started off with a plate and a stability ball against the wall... mimics the motion with support. I love leg work (but it hurts)
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    May 04, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    I think it sounds like your intimidated a little bit. Swallow your pride man and start with light weight and get your form down first! If you dont you can really mess up your back.

    No matter how light the weight is get your form down and then build up from there. You get your form down and its smooth sailing from there...but they will knock the wind out of you thats for sure, haha...but they are great and after awhile your legs will be growing and hard as a rock!