One of the best exercises for you, whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight or both is the squat!
However, it’s also one of the most difficult exercises to do properly unless you actually know what you’re doing. Let’s take a look at why this exercise is so great, and then how to perform it properly for maximum results and minimal chance of injury.
Squats work a LOT of muscles in your body. If you’re looking to burn fat, you want to do exercises that trigger as much of your body as possible so it’s all getting worked. On the other side of the coin, if you’re looking to build muscle, your legs and back can put on the most muscle in the shortest amount of time. Sweet! Gimme some quad mass!
A few tips to remember:
Squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. If you don’t go down that far, you’re cheating yourself and doing a fake squat. Go way down, and you’ll feel it in every muscle in your leg. This will give you a really strong core along with strong legs and a strong back. If you can’t use any weigh yet, that’s OK! Just practice your form (sideways in front of a mirror) with just your body weight until your comfortable with the position and movement.
Do not to extend your knees past your toes. If you’re doing the squats right, you should be sitting back with your ass out and back straight. It may feel a little weird sticking your butt out like that, but that’s the way to do it. It helps prevent your knees going over your toes.
Don’t arch your back. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to keep your head up when you squat, and KEEP YOUR ABS tight throughout the whole exercise (that’s right, squats will even work your abs).
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and point your toes slightly outward.
GROW a pair! (of legs)
Leg extensions: 3 warm-up sets with lighter weights (30 lbs.) of 30 reps
Wide stance barbell squat: 95 lbs. – 6 sets of 8 reps
I also did an extra credit set of 12 reps. with just the Olympic bar and went ALL the way down each rep.
Seated leg curl: 40 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps, last set to failure
Single legged deadlift (foot on bench): 4 sets of 8 reps -0- I read this wrong at the gym and did single leg squats with 30 lbs… Damn it.
Barbell Glute Bridge: 20 lbs – 4 sets of 8 reps
Seated calf raises : 75 lbs. – 3 sets of 20 reps
Leg Presses: 3 sets of 10 reps. I did my 1st and 2nd set at 200 lbs and went for 250 on my third set.