Squats are an amazing exercise for working out a lot of muscle groups, making your heart pump, and building muscle while burning fat at the same time. If you do them right, you'll work your back, abdomen, butt, and legs.
For more information, fitsugar.com has a simple write up on proper form. (although their picture in the post shows a woman squatting with her knees extending out past her toes, which is exactly what their article says not to do..)
- Arm Positions - arms out in front for beginners. As you master the exercise, move your hands behind your head, or hold your hands shoulder height with palms facing forward. Both of these force your shoulders back & your chest out, and keep more of your body's weight backwards, which makes your legs work harder.
- Weighted Squats - when you get to the point where you can do the reps required without feeling wiped out, pick up a couple dumbbells to add weight.
- Speed - start with steady, stable movements up and down, while you focus on your form. Once you've got the movements mastered, you can hammer out fast squats for a major cardio session, or you can do them very slowly for a deep muscle workout.
Here's a video by personal trainer Mike Teo:
Legal Disclaimer (don't blame me.)
Warning - I am NOT a licensed physical trainer, therapist, nutritionist, or a doctor. I am a regular guy who just happens to love exercise and fitness.
Exercise can be dangerous if done incorrectly or in excess. I can't see you, and you can't see me, to know if you're doing an exercise incorrectly, which could lead to injury.
Please Please Please seek help / advice / counsel from a local professional before starting a new program, or before doing an exercise you're unfamiliar with. This information is intended as a guide to point you in the right direction. If you aren't familiar with the exercises described herein, I highly recommend seeking professional advice before trying them.