Squat ‘til you drop!
What for do we squat and how many a days should we make? Here are all your questions' answers.
You wonder how to get a nice round butt and toned legs? The answer is one word: SQUATS. I swear, every personal trainer – including me – has his clients make supersets of squats two times a week and they show off their sexy booty and live happily ever after. Let me show you some pictures that are worth a thousand words:
Do you understand my enthousiasm know? So let’s go to work and train our “gluteus maximus”, otherwise it’s probably going to get softer and flatter! Sculpting your butt should become part of your leg routine. An optimal training includes three classical moves: squats, deadlifts and lunges.
I have to admit that it took me some weeks until I could properly do my squats. In the beginning, it always felt like I was losing my balance while trying to sit back so my knees would stay in line with my feet. I suggest you practice your squats without weights first. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, you should point your toes straight to the mirror. Keep your head up when you squat, squeeze your ABS and don’t arch your back. Don’t extend your knees past your toes, sit back and flex your hips with your butt out and back straight. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you don’t go down that far, you’re cheating yourself.
Have a trainer control your posture. If there is no one you can ask if you are doing it right or not, pull a chair in front of the mirror and squat down until you are sitting. If you are squatting properly, your ass will be sticking out, your back will be straight and you will be able to stand up from that chair without having to lean forward at all.
Once your muscles got used to the movement and you feel confident doing your squats, you are ready for the squat rack!
Get into the squat rack, set the bar at just below your shoulder level, and set the safety bars low enough that you’ll be able to squat low with the bar on your shoulders. Duck under the bar, place your hands in a wide grip so that your palms are facing the mirror. Rest the weight across the upper part of your back and not your neck. I use a bar pad to soften the bar’s impact on my back. Make sure your knees don’t bow in anytime during the lift. You may automatically want to do this if the weights are too heavy. So keep the load light and gradually add more plates. It’s way more important to make the exercise right and squat down low enough than to lift lots of weights.
You started loving squats because you can hardly walk but can see how your butt gets rounder and your legs more toned? Welcome among the pros, you are ready for the barbell squats outside the rack. You will most probably have to cut down weights because the unguided move is so much harder to perform than the one inside the rack.
There are dozens of squat variations. Through CrossFit, front squats and overhead squats have been gaining popularity. Depending on how you do a squat, you may work your lower back more than your quads, or your hamstrings more than your lower back. My favorite definitely is the full barbell back squat I described.
Squats are not a good exercise for people who have a history of back pain. But when performed correctly and with appropriate supervision, they are not only safe, but will guarantee you that sexy booty.