Apple butt. Cakes. Junk in the Trunk. Caboose. Gluteus Maximus. No matter what you call it, everyone wants a tighter TUSH. My favorite exercise, by far, is the SQUAT! I love the squat and all the forms and variations. Just in time for summer, we are challenging our glute activation with this functional exercise. It is short weather and what better time to look good in those tiny shorts and Speedo’s? Ladies, this challenge is good for you as well! Complete honesty… What more do you expect from me? Both my hubby and I are booty people. Our “aha” moment started with a glance at one another’s backside. True story!
As always, it’s all about that form, that form… No boo boo’s! To help me out with our form video, Alba Hatcher, CEO and Founder of Trainer In PINK will be supplying the video on proper squat form. You can find that video located here. Even though we are not using weights, you still want that same slow, controlled movement. Speed does not better.
This is a functional exercise, meaning that you can use the movements in your every day life, that yields results just by using your body weight. Yes, another exercise that you can do anywhere at anytime. NO EXCUSES! So, while engaging in this functional exercise, you are building muscles. These muscles will also begin to work more efficiently. As we grow older, this is vital for us to include functional exercises into our workouts. AND when you use proper form (i.e. bending with the knees, not the hips), will help prevent some common injuries that us trainers hear about far too often.
While you squat, you are squeezing multiple muscles, your quads, hamstrings, abs… This is building a stable foundation… Essentially, your body is getting stronger. Strong legs will keep you enjoying the gift of mobility. The contraction of the abs (stabilization) will keep you balanced. By doing squats, you are also assisting yourself by preventing injuries. Again.. Those abs! Ligaments and connective tissues are getting stronger as you squat more and increase your range of motion. This also increases your flexibility. Additionally, when you add the plyometric aspect to your squat, sports performance increases. This occurs by adding that power and force from your legs. So, are you ready to get started?
- Lifting your heels off the ground. This pulls your body weight forward and into the knees. This equals knee pain.
- Knees pointing in or out as you squat down. Again, another way to stress your knees. Think forward!
- Hinging at the hips. This is similar to my post about modified push ups. You are simply wearing out that hip. Buttocks should drive down and hips will follow. The action is not promoted or prompted by the hip.
- Looking down/chest drives down. A common mistake I see is that a person’s chest will lay flat on their legs. Think flat back. If you are looking down at the ground, your natural reaction is to pull your shoulders and chest down. THINK NEUTRAL.
I am so excited for this month’s challenge. Let’s make it a great month. Do not be afraid to break up the squats throughout the day, if you are unable to bang it out at once. Remember, “It’s You vs. You!” so do what works for YOU!!! Be on the look out for additional “mini-challenges” throughout the month. We will make July interesting… <Muahahaha>