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Workout Wednesday: Squats

May 2, 2012

In my humble opinion, squats are one of the best exercises you can do. They work many of your major muscle groups and burn a lot of calories. Plus, who doesn’t want toned thighs and a firm tush? I certainly do! Add in some weights, and arm movement, and you have yourself a full-body workout.

Source: 58kilos.tumblr.com via Libby on Pinterest

Squats can be done 1001 ways, ensuring that they never get old and you don’t fall into the trap of the same ol’ workout.

Key Things to Remember:

  • Never let your knees go over your toes
  • Get low!
  • Really sit back into the squat
  • Squeeze your butt on the way up

Source: get-thinspiration.tumblr.com via Felicia on Pinterest

Squat Variations:
  • Do squats while balancing on a BOSU
  • Do squats while holding a weighted bar across shoulders
  • Do squats with a jump on the way up
  • Do squats while throwing a medicine ball straight into the air
  • Do squats with a side kick on the way up (alternate sides)
  • Do squats with handweights and an overhead press on the way up
  • Do one-legged squats
  • Do plie squats by standing with feet wider than shoulders and turning feet out

Source: Uploaded by user via Steve on Pinterest

What’s your favorite way to do squats??

Have a happy workout!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2012 10:15 pm

    One of the best ways, and safest ways to do squats is the “Smith” machine. For those women that are afraid to just do it with the bar as pictured above, using the Smith machine will give you confidence and, in some instances keep you from falling over!

    • recipeforabeautifullife permalink*
      May 2, 2012 10:42 pm

      Thank you for the tip! Great advice!

      • May 29, 2012 6:13 pm

        No. Do not take that man’s advice. Use of a smith machine is dangerous for many reasons.

        It is deceptive. It makes you think you are stronger than you really are because it does all the stabilizing for you.

        It builds faulty movement patterns because it forces you to move in a perfectly straight line that is almost certainly NOT the way your body moves naturally. And because it does all the stabilizing for you, you are not learning how to recruit your stabilizer muscles (i.e. not making them stronger) and you are priming yourself for injury if you should ever attempt real world use of strength, for which your body is just not ready.

        In building faulty movement patterns, it is quite possible, even likely that in additional to developing muscular imbalances, you will also create overuse injuries, most often in the knees or low back.

        Get under a freeweight bar and lift it off the racks or you will not develop real world strength and might hurt yourself. Don’t take my word alone for it. Go ask Mehdi of Stronglifts.com, or Elliot Hulse from hulsestrength.com, or Coach Mark Rippetoe, etc., etc.

        Avoid the smith machine like the plague it is. It is there only to keep men and women weak by giving them a crutch they do not need and building a false sense of strength that does not cut the muster in the real world.

        Just start your barbell squats with an empty bar and someone knowledgeable to coach you and you will succeed.

  2. May 3, 2012 9:05 am

    I love squats! I know they work because no matter how little of them I do, I can always feel it the next day! Plus, my legs and butt are my target problem areas so squats and lunges are a must for me.

  3. May 3, 2012 11:46 am

    Love me some squats – did ‘em last night, in fact. I agree about the Smith Machine too – it’s not only more stable but allows me an altered stance so I can really hone in on the muscle.

  4. May 3, 2012 10:47 pm

    I like all the variations! I definitely get bored pretty easily.

  5. May 5, 2012 10:15 am

    I have always liked squats, too! I just hate the insane burn I have in my legs the next day. :)

    • May 29, 2012 6:16 pm

      Then go heavy for low reps. If you can max 300, then just warm up and then do 5 x 5 of 225 or so. You will gain strength without the burn that comes from high reps. And always make sure you do active recovery on your “off” days.

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