Squats target your quadriceps. They also activate your core and just about every other lower body muscle, including glutes, hamstrings and calves. And it’s a fact, squats will build a great butt. Who doesn’t want a great butt?
The fall fitness challenge continues. We focused on the core in September with the plank challenge and the upper body in October with the push-up challenge now it’s time to focus on the lower body. We’re going to sculpt and shape your legs with the 21-Day Fall Fitness Challenge: Squats.
This exercise is an efficient, no equipment needed, do anytime and anywhere and can be done at any fitness level.
Squats are an effective exercise that helps build stabilize the entire core region, and strengthens:
FOCUS ON FORM
Prior to your first squat set, sit tall on a bench with your back upright and naturally arched, your shoulders back, and your lower legs perpendicular to the floor and at least shoulder width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level so that they’re parallel to the floor. Bend forward at your hips without changing the arch in your back. Move your feet slightly back just enough that you’re able to stand up slowly, without having to change your body posture. Feel that. That’s the position you should be in when you squat.
BENEFITS OF SQUATS
- Builds muscle in your entire body
- A functional exercise that makes real-life activities easier
- Increasing muscle burns more fat
- Improves mobility
- Improves balance
- Prevents injuries
- Targets all muscles in your legs
- Engages the core
Squat (1) Holding dumbbells in both hands, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your weight on your heels. Keep your abs tight and stand with your shoulders over your hips. (2) Sit back and down as if you were sitting down in a chair. (3) Keep your back straight being careful not to lean forward, and lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. (4) As you exhale, push through your heels and squeeze your glutes, straighten your legs and stand back up. Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings
Prisoner Squat (1) Stand with your feet hip width apart and back naturally arched. Brace your core throughout the entire exercise. (2) Place your fingers on the back of your head as if you were going to do a crunch. Keep your elbows and shoulders back, weight in your heels and eyes focused straight ahead. (3) Lower your body as far as you can (or until thighs are parallel to the floor) by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. (4) Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Targets: quads, core, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
Sumo Squat (1) Place your feet as wide as you can while pointing your toes outward. (2) Lower your body until your things are parallel to the floor. Hold, exhale, and press back up to start position. (3) Keep your shoulders directly over your hips at all times. Don’t lean forward or let your knees come out over your toes. Keep your abs drawn in and don’t arch your back. Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings
Single Leg Squat (1) Stand on your right leg. Lift your left foot a couple of inches off the ground. (2) The basic moves of the Squat apply here. Keep your head up, your abs tight, and your heels on the ground. (3) Being careful not to lean forward or let your knees travel beyond your toes, slowly lower yourself down as low as you comfortably can or until your thigh is parallel to the floor. (4) Exhale, and stand up straight on your right leg only. (5) Continue for the prescribed number of reps and then repeat on the left leg. Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings, core
Squat Jump (1) Stand with your feet hip width apart with toes pointed outward. (2) Lower yourself down until your quads are parallel to the ground, abs are tight, shoulders over the hips. (3) Then, from the mid-point position, exhale and explode upward as high as you can. Imagine pushing away from the floor with your feet. (4) Land back down in a firm stance, reset quickly and repeat. Be conscious of keeping your spine straight. Keep you eyes focused on the ground in front of you. Don’t arch your back. Pull your belly button upward. Targets: quads, calves
Squat Curl Press (1) Holding dumbbells in both hands, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. (2) Bend your knees and lower your hips back into a deep squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (3) Hold the squat position and perform a biceps curl. (4) Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes returning to start position while pushing the dumbbells overhead into a shoulder press (5) Lower the dumbbells back to starting position. Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings, biceps, shoulders
THE 21-DAY SQUAT CHALLENGE
Follow the day-to-day plan and track your progress. You can do the same variation for the entire 21 days or try a few different variations as you get stronger.
HOW THE 21-DAY SQUAT CHALLENGE WORKS
- Download and print the squat calendar below.
- Follow the daily plan.
- Record your reps daily on the squat calendar so you can easily measure and review your progress.
BE PROUD OF YOURSELF! YOU’RE THAT MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU WERE 21 DAYS AGO
SHARE THE MOTIVATION REBOOT! FORWARD THIS CHALLENGE TO A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER. IT MAKES IT EASIER TO STICK TO YOUR GOAL.
In case you missed it.
If you’re just joining us for the 21-Day Fall Fitness Challenge Series no worries. The FREE series is still available for download. Just click the images below to rock your fitness for the rest of the year.
I would love to chat:
Has life gotten holiday-busy for you yet? Do you have a plan for staying on track with fitness this holiday season? Does that plan include pumpkin pie?
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