Wednesday, May 18, 2011


If you are limited to gym access or training accessories, then you will benefit by incorporating these two exercises into your workout routine. The squat and the pushup can be performed in many different variations, enabling you to hit more muscles with a simple adjustment to the original move.
The squat allows you to build strength in your legs, define your thigh and glute muscles, and, when done, properly, may increase the strength in your lower back. By adjusting your feet in different positions, you can also work your inner and outer thighs. Because the squat is a compound exercise of a major muscle group, it is also an effective fat burning tool. Here are a few to try. They can be performed as bodyweight exercises, but to increase intensity use a barbell, dumbbells or resistance bands. Make sure that you have mastered proper form before adding resistance.
A good set would be 10-30 reps, for 2-4 rounds, depending upon experience.

Regular Squat: Stand with feet should distance apart, stomach tight, back straight. Keeping your back as straight as possible, slowly begin to lower your torso, bending you knees, until you are almost in a sitting position. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes, and do not lean forward. Pressing through your heels, come back to standing position.
Sumo squat: Similar action as above, but stand with your feet wide apart.
Plie (Inner Thigh) Squat: Stand with you feet wide apart, toes pointing out (away from each other). Perform bending action as regular squat.
One Leg Squat:  Same as regular squat, only using one leg.
Wall Squat: Stand with back to the wall, perform a regular squat into a sitting position and hold for 30-60 sec. as 1 rep.
Jump Squat: Similar to regular squat. However, from bent position, jump into the air landing with softly bent knees. These squats can be hard on the knees, so it is important to be careful when you do them.

The pushup primarily targets the chest, arms and shoulders. It improves upper body strength and because it is a works several muscle groups at one time, it is great for burning calories. By altering your hand or feet positions, you can isolate different muscles.

Regular Push-up: Assume a plank position, hands slightly wider then shoulder width, elbows locked. Lower yourself by bending your elbows until your chest almost touches the floor. Push yourself back up to starting position. Make sure to maintain proper form, tighten your abs and do not let your stomach or hips sag.
Modified Push-up: Same as regular push-up, except instead of balancing on your toes, balance on your knees.
Decline Push-up: Find a sturdy object to place your feet upon, lifting them higher than your chest, perform push-up.
Ball Push Up: Using a 6-8 inch ball, place one hand on the ball and one hand on the floor, perform pushup.
Single Leg Push-up: Get into push-up position, lifting one leg up, perform pushup.
Plyo Clap Push-Up: Get into push-up position. Once you have reached the lower position, using all your force, explosively push up and off your palms, clapping in the middle prior to catching yourself back on the floor.

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