Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Squat Challenge



 

It's confession time again....once upon a time I used to HATE squats. Not just dislike, but hate...with a passion...avoided them like the plague for years. About a year ago I was lucky enough to take a class at the gym with an instructor that pays really close attention to form. Turns out I was doing them wrong. Once I learned proper form I learned to LOVE squats.



Squats aren't just a leg exercise! When using proper form you work your legs, glutes and your entire core...and that is using your bodyweight alone! If you add in dumbbells you can incorporate more of your upper body as well.
 

For this Squat Challenge I am keeping it pretty simple. Don't rush through your reps! Try a slow pace (down for 3 up for 3 is nice and slow). Rest for 30-60 seconds between each squat variation. If the number of reps listed is too high for your current fitness level just reduce the reps to something manageable (while still being challenging) for you. If the number of reps listed is too easy for your current fitness level just repeat the circuit until you can no longer maintain proper form. Remember to keep your core engaged throughout each exercise! To engage your core, draw your belly button towards your back (like you are bracing for a punch to the stomach). If you feel like you are starting to get off balance during any exercise either your core isn't engaged, or your knees are going past your toes. If your knees or back hurt during any of these exercises STOP, check your form! Muscle burn is fine, but sharp pains and joint pains are not!

 
If you aren't familiar with any of these squat variations highly recommend doing a quick Google search. There are tons of videos and images out there to illustrate proper form.

 
Squat Jacks: Stand with your feet together, slight bend in your knees, and arms at your sides. Hinge forward at the hips, bend your knees and squat (make sure your knees do not go past your toes). Jump up to a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. As you jump up raise your arms up at your sides until they meet over your head. Jump back out to a squat, bringing your arms down to your sides. Keep your knees soft as you land.
 

Narrow Squats: Stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Hinge forward at the waist and bend your knees. Stick your bottom out like you are going to sit on a chair behind you. Keep your back straight, chest up and shoulders back. As you squat down, bend your arms slightly and bring your hands together in front of you. Make sure that you knees do not go past your toes. Return to starting position.

 
Regular Squats: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip width apart with your arms at your sides. Hinge forward at the waist and bend your knees. Stick your bottom out like you are going to sit on a chair behind you. Keep your back straight, chest up and shoulders back. As you squat down, bend your arms slightly and bring your hands together in front of you. Make sure that you knees do not go past your toes. Return to starting position.

 
Sumo Squats: Stand in a wide stance with your feet pointing out to the sides (at about a 45 degree angle) with your arms at your sides. Hinge forward at the waist and bend your knees. Stick your bottom out like you are going to sit in a chair behind you. Keep your back straight, chest up and shoulders back. As you squat down, bend your arms slightly and bring your hands together in front of you. Make sure that you knees do not go past your toes. Return to starting position.

 
Wall Sits: Stand with your back against a wall with your feet hip width apart. Carefully lower your body (keeping your back pressed against the wall) and walk your feet forward, bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Make sure that your knees are over your ankles and not over your toes. Hold this position for one minute.

 
***I am not a doctor, nutrition specialist, or personal trainer. Basically, I am not an expert. If an expert is advising you on your diet and/or exercise please follow their advice!

 

 

1 comment:

  1. Doing squats and lunges can be very tiring and even unsafe if you not using the right protective gear for these activities. I have a website about best knee sleeves. you can visit my website for read Best Knee Sleeves Reviews & Buying Guide 2016 at here

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