"SQUATS are one of my favourite all around leg exercises! They are a compound strength exercise - meaning that they work a large number of muscle groups at the same time. Lots of muscles working together burns more energy and fat while giving you even shape & tone in your legs."
Great muscle tone and shape in your legs is the result of EXCELLENT technique when you exercise. Not seeing the results you want to??
Here are my secrets to perfecting your squat!!
- Place your feet just wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
- Stand tall, chest up, arms stretched out in front. Keep this position throughout the whole squat movement (don't drop your chest).
- Start to sit back like you are sitting in a chair, weight in your heels - this reduces pressure in your knees and fires your glutes and hamstrings.
- Squeeze your knees outward (towards you pinky toes) while you squat down. This will fully activate your glutes (that booty)!
- Stand up tall, again squeezing your knees out and picture your chest lifting up first as you stand.
Try these squat variations to mix up your workouts:
Doing a high number of squats will work your muscle endurance and fitness. This is a great fat burner! Squat until you start to feel your legs burning then do 10 more! A good starting point is 20reps. You can also see how many squats you can do in a minute and try to beat this number the next time you workout.
Doing squats with less reps but more weight will really help to tone and shape your legs. Hold some weight (dummbell, medball, milk bottle filled with sand or a heavy back pack) right in close to your chest (like your giving your weight a hug!). Find a weight where you can do 10reps with nice technique.
SPEED IT UP
Try doing your squats with a quick explosive stand up. This will work your fast twitch muscle fibres building shapely and lean muscle. Quick squats are great if you do explosive training like sprinting, quick team sports and agility exercises where you change direction alot. You can also add a jump in and incorporate jump squats for an extra challenge! Remember to keep your good technique on every rep!
Remember technique is key for every squat you do (no matter what type). Good technique will ensure you work your muscles evenly, build even tone in your legs, and avoid any injury. Only squat down as far as you can with doing your best technique. Don't worry if you are not squatting down as low as you want to, it is actually really hard to squat down low with excellent technique! Your body learns quickly, especially if you practise regularly, so you will be able to squat a little bit lower each time you try.
A great way to check your technique is by squatting down slowly onto a seat, bench or step, focussing on putting weight back into your heels. Start with a higher seat and work your way to a lower level week by week. Squatting in front of a mirror is also a great way to see how you are 'really' squatting! Get into the habit of regularly checking your squat technique, just to make sure you're not cheating or getting into bad habits!
Happy training fam!