Squats are a full-body exercise because even though you are working out your lower body, you have to engage the core as well. Picture: Pixabay
It's a new year and we are in the middle of summer, so if one of your resolutions is to get in shape, the timing has never been this perfect.

And if your goals are to lose weight faster, get toned or build your muscle faster, then look no further than squats.

Training in this way is not only good for your core, but those looking for a perky bottom and toned thighs and legs opt for squats too.

Squats are one of the best workouts but it’s important that you do the exercise properly.

Romeo Jacques Brand, a personal trainer and fitness fanatic, said in order to perfect your squats you need to learn the basics.

“Keep the upper body as upright as possible, dropping down into a seated position. Drop till the thighs are 90 degrees to the lower extremities. Inhale as you descend and exhale as you return to the starting position.”

Shaheem Laattoe from Fit Factory Personalised Training said the benefits of squats are that they are a full-body exercise because even though you are working out your lower body, you have to engage the core as well.

Brand advises people to always warm up the knees before attempting squats. “Never look down when you squat. Always concentrate on correct form before attempting the heavy lifts. Never be an ego lifter. ”

Laattoe also recommends that people do squats that will be suitable for their fitness.

Here are the type of squats that Brand recommends:

Bodyweight squats

Conventional movement that requires bending of the knees, drop the glutes to the floor and try to stay as erect as possible. Hands are normally behind the head, this is known as the prisoner squat.

Plyometric squats

Done jumping straight up from the floor, jumping on to a box or alternating the legs into a split lunge jump. It improves balance and co-ordination.

Static squats

Done against the wall or free standing. Drop down with the upper legs parallel to the floor. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Perfect for glutes, quadriceps and the core.

Laattoe says the most common squats are:

Barbell squats

Done with a barbell on your back or can be held in front of the body, held by the chest. This also a push-type, compound exercise which primarily works your quadriceps, but also trains your glutes, hamstrings and calves as well as muscles in your lower back.

Goblet squats

Done with the dumbbell held at the chest. It tones the legs and thighs and strengthens the quads, hip flexors, lats, calves and gluteal muscles.

Sump squats

Hold on to a dumbbell in between your legs. This places more emphasis on the inner-thigh adductors, which move your legs in toward your body, and glutes.