How to do squats to strengthen your stomach muscles To do proper squats start by spreading your legs so that you are in a wide stance with your feet well outside of your shoulders with your feet turned out. Sit down deep into the squat with your hands comfortably on your hips. You can also do a straight leg raise hinging at the hips. Keep your leg straight and raise it as you bend forward at the hips. Raise the leg until it is parallel with the ground and hold it for as long as you can. Then switch legs and do it on the other side. When you are doing these leg lifts makes sure that you keep your toes pointed straight back.