Squats, More Bang for Your Buck
Surely a staple for any exercise routine. Not only are they excellent for training the lower body and core muscles they also make your thighs and derriere look great.
Squats use an amazing number of muscles including Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Hip Adducters, Gastrocnemius (calf), Soleus, Tibias anterior, Rectus Abdominals, Erector Spinae and even more if you try the Power Squats.
Here's 6 great reasons to do SQUATS.
- Being low impact and not requiring any extra equipment makes them accessible anytime and anywhere.
- They improve your circulation, they are particularly good at getting to the cellulite in your legs.
- Good for your digestion through the particular muscular actions.
- They really help with your posture.
- Because they work on the big muscles in your legs they can significantly increase your calorie burn, both during and after exercise.
- They tone up your whole leg, and with time will improve the function of your knees
How to do a squat. (Check out the pictures too)
- Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart and with your arms by your side.
- Lower your body by bending your knees, pushing your hips back and your body weight into your heels.
- As you lower raise your arms out in front for balance
- Don’t let your knees go out over your toes and make sure your back is neutral.
- Keep your chest lifted and don’t round your back.
- Pause and then lift up controlling the movement.
Check you’re doing them right?
Stand in front of a chair and squat down into it.
Now you are sitting in it stand up without leaning forward. If you have your form right. Bottom out and back straight you should be able to stand without leaning forward.
Don’t go too deep until you have had a bit of practice and are more flexible.
Want to go harder try these
- Put a dumbbell in each hand while you squat, leave your hands by your side. Start off with light weights and work up.
- Single leg squats, start by holding onto something until you can do them without support.
- Plie, put your legs out wider with feet angled significantly outward, like a ballet dancer. Use the same technique as an ordinary squat but you will feel the pull in your inner thighs. When you get good, and it feels easy, add some weights
- Power Squats, Stand with a medicine ball in front of your torso. Shift weight to your left foot whilst bending your right knee moving your right foot towards your buttocks. Move the ball towards the outside of your right ear. Whilst keeping your spine neutral bend your hips and knees. Lower your torso whilst taking the ball down towards your left ankle. Press into your left leg and return to the starting position. Now repeat on the other side.
- Power squats also uses these muscles for a bigger workout. Piriformis, Vastus Lateralis, Deltoideus medialis, teres minor,Infraspinatus and supraspinatus, gluteus medius.
- Pulse Squats, do a basic squat but only come half way up and then go down. You can feel your muscles burn in this one.
- Plyometric, again a basic squat but instead of coming up slowly you explode into a jump and land softly.
- Goblet squats, similar to a plie but holding a medicine ball, kettle-bell or one heavy dumbbell close to your chest.
- Barbell squat, normal squat form but with a barbell on your shoulders, mostly on your trapezius muscle.
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