There is so much pressure to perform the "perfect" squat that most people end up performing no squats at all! If you follow my simple tips I promise you will end up performing the "perfect" with little effort.
We perform a squat maneuver numerous times every day simply by sitting in a chair. When I am teaching an individual to perform a squat for the first time I try to make it as functional as possible by placing a sturdy chair behind them. First, stand with feet shoulder width apart. If you are a beginner you can stretch your arms out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor. Then slowly bend your knees and bring your buttocks back like you're going to sit in a chair. You may tap the chair with your buttocks to provide feedback, however do not actually sit down. If you already have knee problems start at lowering to a 45 degree angle and progress to 90 degrees and make sure you have no pain in your knees when you squat.
When you lower down into the squat position do not allow your knees to migrate medially/inward. Your knees should remain in line with your ankles and hips throughout the entire movement. If you find yourself having trouble maintaining this position you may place a theraband/resistance band around your knees or lower thighs directly above your knee joints, keeping the band taut throughout the entire movement. Finally, return to the starting position by simply straightening out your knees/standing up. Do not lock out your knees at the end of this movement.
I find in many people that when they squat they don't stick their buttocks far enough backwards which causes their knees to migrate too far in front of their toes. This will cause anterior knee pain it places excessive stress on a tendon in front of your knee called the patellar tendon. If you repetitively stress this tendon you may end up with a condition called patellar tendonitis which is the inflammation of the patellar tendon. Remember YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE KNEE, HIP, OR BACK PAIN WHEN PERFORMING A SQUAT. Here’s a quick tutorial to help you perfect your form.