Will be crossposted to my blog as soon as I figure out how to add pics in my blog posts!
Squats are probably my favorite lower body exercise. There are so many things you can do with them to challenge your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, hips, core, lower back... Good stuff.
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, spine nice and aligned, head neutral, shoulders relaxed and down. On an inhale, bend your knees and keep your hips back as though there were a chair behind you. You should be able to see your toes throughout the movement if you glance down. If your knees are farther forward than your toes, obscuring your view of your toes, you are doing more harm than good! Keep those hips back. This girl has great form:
As you can see, her hips are back, her knees are bent to 90 degrees, and her thighs are parallel to the floor. She is holding one dumbbell. If you can handle more weight, you can place a weighted bar across the upper part of your back (NOT on your spine), like this:
Here is an example of really bad form. And bad clothes. And bad hair, frankly.
See how his knees are in front of his toes? His knees should be back over his ankles or shoelaces, like the woman pictured above. She rocks. He does not.