Squatting is among the few exercises that give a person a complete workout. This is why a squat is considered a functional form of exercise that influences a person’s health very positively. As we age, squatting strength tends to decrease and the only way to maintain it is to have a proper squat technique. The following is a brief account of the techniques that can help you in knowing how to squat properly and at what frequency.
How Many Squats Should I Do?
Most people find it difficult to determine the right amount of the weight they should use for squat exercises. A good way to find out is to do the exercises with weights that exhaust your muscles completely at the end of each set and make it difficult for you to finish it.
- Our bodies are built up of muscles which we use for doing all the heavy lifting and performing tasks like squatting. For strengthening these muscles doing at least three sets of every exercise that you are doing is a must. You can keep your repetitions in between the range of five to fifteen. Remember to make use of lighter weights when performing a long set while using heavier ones when doing a short set.
- The frequency of your workout sessions also has a say in building your squat strength. This means that the more intense and frequently you perform squat exercises the harder and firmer your butt muscles become. Thus, it is advisable that you do squat exercises at least twice a week if you want to get the desired results quickly.
How to Perform a Squat Routine
The following is a brief look at the five exercises that you can do for building up your squat strength, after which you will be presented with a 30-day plan that can help you in strengthening your butt muscles. It is crucial that you follow the plan to the letter or you would not be able to get the results that the plan promises. You can make minor adjustments to the plan depending on your ability to cope with the exercises plan.
1. Basic Squat
Stand with your feet apart and your hands at your sides in front of you. Now bend your knees while keeping your hands in the same position. Try to make your thighs parallel to the floor. Remain in this position for a while and then stand back up straightening your legs. When bending your knees keep the weight in your heels.
2. Narrow Squat
Stand upright with your feet joined together. Place both your hands in front of your body and join them together making a fist. Now start lowering yourself by bending your knees, keeping your upper body stable and the hands in the same position in front of you. Try to make your thighs as parallel to the floor as you can. After staying in this position for a while stand back up. When doing the exercise, be sure to put your weight on heels instead of your toes.
3. Back Kick Squat
Stand while keeping both your feet joined together and your hands in front forming a fist. Lower down your body by bending the knees and making your thighs parallel with the floor. Now lift yourself up and keep one leg straightened while the other one in a back kick position. After staying in that position for a few seconds bring back your leg and again bend down your knees. This time when you lift yourself back up again, hold your other leg in the back kick position.
4. Side Leg Lift Squat
Stand with your shoulders and feet apart and bend at your knees while keeping your thighs parallel to the ground. Now rise up, straightening your legs and lift one of your legs sideways. After remaining in this position for a little while do the basic squat again, and when you rise up this time lift your other leg to the side completing one repetition this exercise.
5. Sumo Squat
Stand with your feet wide apart. Keep your toes facing away from each other and your hands joined together in a fist in front of your chest. Now start lowering yourself by bending your knees. You target should be to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Squat in this position for a while and then lift yourself again to a standing position with your feet apart and your hands in front of your chest.
Tips and Warnings for Squats
Even though the squat variations and the 30-day plan are excellent for shaping your butt, they can both result in an injury if you are not careful. The following is a list of precautions and tips that can help you to perform the squats in a safe manner and avoid any chance of an injury.
- Hinging your hips is necessary when you get down for a squat. This will help you in taking the pressure off of your knees and move the butt in a backward position. Moreover, this will also help you in putting your weight on your heels, giving you a better and deeper squat.
- Avoid looking down or rounding your neck when squatting especially if you are doing the squat using a high amount of weights. This is important because such an act can imbalance your spinal alignment and cause you a serious injury.
- When performing the squat make sure that your shoulders are held back and your chest is out. This is necessary because it will help you in maintaining a correct posture while squatting, otherwise you will imbalance your spinal alignment completely
- It is important that you breathe properly when squatting. Being a tough exercise, squatting can take its toll on a person if he is not breathing properly when doing it. So, make sure to breathe in deeply when beginning the squat and breathe out as hard as you can when ending it.
- How deep you are able to squat is dependent on the flexibility of your hip. People having a flexible hip can squat so deep that their hamstrings become parallel to the floor while those having less flexible hips can only manage to squat with their hamstrings almost parallel to the floor.
- Consult with your doctor prior to commencing an exercise plan. Always remember to warm yourself up before starting any exercise session. Performing 20 squats with a lesser weight is a perfect way to warm up your muscles before starting the exercise session with heavier ones. Any stretching exercises should be done when your muscles are warm and loose.
- If you feel any kind of pain in your joints or anywhere else in the body then stop doing the exercise immediately. Take a healthy diet so that you can remain fit to perform these challenging exercises on a daily basis.