Monday, July 9, 2012

Basic Move of the Week - The Squat

The squat allows you to build strength in your legs, define your thigh and gluteus muscles, and, when done, properly, may strengthen the core area. Abdominal and back muscles are needed to keep balance during the movement. The result is a tighter, flatter abdomen and a stronger lower back.  Make a conscious effort to hold in your abdominal muscles while squatting down to increase this effect.
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.
Beginners should start with bodyweight squats to build strength and learn technique, before adding any resistance.

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.

PliƩ (Inner Thigh) Squat: Stand with your 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.

Things to Remember
1.    If you can, go down until your butt is in line with your knees (knees at 90 degree angles). If you can't go down that low, go as low as you can.
2.    Make sure your knees are BEHIND your toes.
3.    Keeping the weight in your heels, slowly push your body back to starting position.


Melissa @ said...

I need to do more of those!...actually, I need to start doing those, lol...thanks for sharing! :)

Jenn said...

Oooooy do I have a love/hate relationship with squats. Especially those wall sits. UGH!! Tough stuff!!

getfitchick said...

Hi Ladies - i have to admit, i love/hate squats too - but i love the way they make my legs stronger!

ALexandrafunfit said...

I love how you give detailed descriptions, plus show options. Very informative, helpful post.

getfitchick said...

Thanks Alexandra - that means a lot to me coming from you - i'm a huge fan!

Jan said...

These are such great tips, thank you! I really have a love/hate relationship with squats. Mostly, I hate them, but I know they are so good!