How to Do a Quarter Squat
Quarter squats can help you rapidly develop strength and muscle. This compound exercise mainly works your quadriceps and also activates your glutes, hamstrings and calves. Unlike full squats, quarter squats don't require you to bend your knees at a 90-degree angle -- a 45-degree angle is sufficient. This enables you to lift more weight without putting a lot of pressure on your knees. To learn proper form, perform quarter squats with just your body weight. Once you master this, use lightweight dumbbells or a barbell for an extra challenge, and increase the weight as you get stronger. If you have health concerns, get your doctor's approval before engaging in a new exercise routine.
Stand upright with your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles aligned.
Spread your feet shoulder-width apart, point your toes forward and keep your knees slightly bent.
Place your hands on your hips or extend them along the sides of your body or out in front of you.
Look straight ahead, bend your knees straight over your toes, push your hips back and slowly lower yourself down as if you're about to sit in a chair. Don't allow your knees to go past your toes and keep your back straight throughout the exercise. When your knees reach a 45-degree angle, hold the squat for two seconds.
Push through your heels to bring your body back to the starting position.
Contract your quadriceps and glutes at the top of the exercise while keeping your knees soft. Immediately go into the next repetition. Perform repetitions and sets according to your fitness level.
When using a barbell, position the bar behind the base of your neck, on your shoulders. Bring your hands over the back of the bar and grasp it somewhat wider than shoulder width. When lifting a lot of weight, use a barbell bar pad to protect your shoulders.
When using dumbbells, grasp them with an overhand grip, extend your arms along your sides and turn your hands so your palms face your body.
Inhale as you lower down, and exhale as you push yourself back up.
Perform quarter squats in front of a mirror so you can monitor your form.
If you're new to exercise, hire a personal trainer to teach you proper form.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.