If you only have time for one exercise this summer, squats are a great way to get the most bang for your buck!
I know, I know. Trust me, I’ve endured squat challenges. I know the feeling of waking up the morning after a squat-intensive workout and feeling like my legs will never work properly again. But the pain? Totally worth it, especially when you consider the benefits of this one simple move:
1. Tightens your tush – Squats give your glutes a great workout! You’ll notice a tighter, lifted booty the next time you rock your bikini once you add squats to your fitness routine!
2. Leads to lean legs – Squats engage your quadriceps, calve muscles, and your hamstrings. The result? Stronger legs that look great in your summer dresses.
3. Strengthens your core – Your abs and back muscles help you to stay balanced during your squat reps. Try to keep your abs engaged throughout the exercise to see results.
Want even more reasons to do squats? Check out our facebook page!
Of course, to get all of the benefits of this 3-in-1 star move, you have to perform it correctly. Follow these tips to execute the perfect squat:
- Place feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles.
- Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round (like a turtle’s shell) will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back.
- Extend the arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down (like your hands are on someone’s shoulders at a 7th grade dance). Or, if it’s more comfortable, pull the elbows close to the body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up.
- Initiate movement by inhaling into the belly, and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend.
- While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight.
- Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
- Let the hip joint squat lower to the ground than the knees, if comfortable. Pro tip: Try squatting onto a box. Gentle tapping it with the butt will be a reminder to squat low.
- Engage the core, and exhale while driving through the heels to return to standing. Imagine the feet are spreading the floor (the left foot to the left, right foot to the right) without actually moving the feet
Are you ready to try the move of the week? Earn points toward your Summer Fit Challenge by taking a picture of you and your friends getting your squat on together! You can submit pictures via the O2 MAX facebook page or twitter account (@O2MAXFITNESS)!