With spring comes the dreaded thought (for some of us at least) of putting on shorts or even worse . . . . . a swimsuit. But, there’s still time to get your buns and thighs in shape for the pool or beach. Squats are not only the most popular functional fitness exercise, they are one of the the most effective at strengthening and toning the lower body. Get started on the 30 Day Squat Challenge today and have a toned tush by summer.
The Perfect Squat
When you execute a squat you’re engaging the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. The squat is not just a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the legs and buttocks, but they will also help improve core strength. You don’t have to go to a gym or load up with a weighted barbell to get the benefits from squatting.
Squatting is something you can do at home, in your hotel room when you’re travelling, and at your desk at work. As long as you execute the squat using proper form you shouldn’t experience knee, hip or lower back pain. If you’re new to doing squats you may want to check out your form in a mirror before you start the 30 day challenge to make sure you’re doing them correctly.
The perfect squat will look like this:
The basic rules for a proper squat are:
- Start by standing up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground approximately shoulder width apart.
- Focus on an object directly ahead of you that is at eye level.
- With your hands out in front of you, begin slowly lowering your hips towards the floor to a position where your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
- The hips should stay behind the knees; knees should not press out over the toes.
- Slowly return to starting position.
- Spine stays in neutral alignment; make sure you don’t round out the back.
- Don’t allow your buttocks to drop lower than your knees.
- If you have difficulty maintaining your balance try standing in front of a chair and slowly lower down until you’re almost touching the seat, then come back up.
30 Day Squat Challenge
The only way to perfect your squats is by doing squats. The squat challenge will allow you to gradually increase the number of squats you do over the next 30 days.
Once you’ve completed the challenge there’s nothing to stop you from continuing to squat with some variety. For more of a challenge you can add light weights or a medicine ball, incorporate some plyometric jumps, go from a basic squat to a split or plie squat, or add movement to your squats. For example a squat with alternating knee lifts or side leg raises will increase the workload.
Here’s the squat with a plyometric jump.
The options for squatting are endless. The 30-Day Squat Challenge is the best way to get your buns and legs ready for summer shorts and beachwear. Who’s up for the challenge?
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