As you already know, I LOVE high impact exercises that could be done anywhere. I have long declared my love for burpees, planks, push ups and pull ups. However, there is yet another exercise out there that constantly challenges me and gets my heart pumping. THE SQUAT.
It’s really a full body exercise, even if you don’t see it as such. Why? Because it strengthens your legs, butt, lower back and upper body at the same time. What I personally tend to forget, though, is that there are many variations of this workout. Not only that, but the squats can be done with or without weights. The following squat variations where found at Women’s Health Magazine.
Body-Weight Jump Squat
Wide-Stance Barbell Squat
Barbell Stiff Squat
Dumbbell Split Squat
It is crucial to keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity not only for your overall fitness, but also for your health. According to Built Lean, the proper squat must be done following the next techniques:
- Hip hinge: “Each time you squat you should hinge your hips so that your butt moves backwards during the downward phase of the squat, your knees will no longer protrude well over your toes (if you are tall, this may happen, but make sure it does not put pressure on your knees). Finally, the pressure of the squat will be on your heels instead of your toes and you will be able to get more depth to your squat.”
- Straight head position: Do not round your neck.
- Chest out, shoulders back: Make sure your spine is in proper alignment.
- Slightly arched lower back: You should keep your lower back flat, to slightly arched as you squat.
- Athletic stance, toes pointed out
- Exhale up, inhale down
- Depth of the squat: “In general, try to shoot for your hamstrings about parallel with the floor, which deeply engages your thighs, hips, and glutes.”
What is your favorite type of squats?