We are now beginning with challenge #10. This is the second week of the weekly physical challenges and I hope you all are enjoying it. Last week we had a push up challenge and if done consistently – you should be able to do more push ups now than you could at the beginning of the week. Continue to push yourself. With that said – this week’s challenge is:
A minimum of 1 set of squats a day
For those of you who don’t like to read long posts here are the details of the challenge. This is based on fitness level.
Advanced: 2 sets of 20 jump squats
Intermediate: 1 set of 15 squats
Beginner: 1 set of 5 squats
Squats are one of my favorite exercises because if you want a round rump – this is how you get it. It also works the quads and with proper foot placement the inner and outer thighs as well. Squats also burn a lot of calories since it works the leg muscles so with consistency you are bound to lose the extra fat as well.
This is why I like squats:
- They are convenient.
- Doesn’t require any equipment. You can use your own bodyweight.
- Easily adaptable to increase intensity by adding weights. I up the intensity with barbells, dumbbells, or medicine balls.
- Plyos are easily incorporated to improve power with jump squats
These are the variations of squats one can do to change things up during this week’s challenge and target different muscle areas:
- Regular squats – stand with feet about shoulder width apart and squat down as if attempting to sit in an invisible chair and rise back up to starting position
- Jump squats – just like regular squats but jump up in the air and land in a squat position (soft knees) and repeat with a jump from the squat position.
- Bulgarian squats – place leg on a bench behind you and squat down with the single leg remaining on the ground. Bend down until working leg is about 90 degrees.
- Single leg squats – similar to Bulgarian squats, just hold leg in the air while squatting with the working leg.
- Add weights to any of these variations to increase the intensity and build muscle.
- Sumo squats – place feet in a plie position (position 2 for you ballerinas) and bend knees to squat.
- Hack squats – typically used with a machine, allows you to place your feet in front of you when squatting.
- Prisoner squats – place hands behind your head while you perform the squat.
With any exercise, proper form is paramount so please be safe and do not overextend yourself if you are not used to performing squats. Also, never let you knee go past your toes.
You only have to do at least 1 set a day so YOU CAN DO IT!
Demonstration of a squat by Stephanie Person (about 1:00 minute in).