The squat is the queen of all exercises. It will help you tone your legs and butt and it will help you lose weight extremely fast. Every single woman should be doing squats on a very regular basis. In this post I am going to talk a little bit about squatting and show you how to get the most out of it.
Why are squats so good?
The main reason squats are so good is because they target a large number of muscles all at one time. This is called a compound exercise and it is very effective at burning fat and toning muscles. When you do a squat you will be working your:
- glutes (butt)
- calf muscles
Imagine all the calories that get burned doing this kind of exercise as opposed to an exercise that only works one or two muscles at a time. It is for this reason that all women should be doing squats on a regular basis.
How to tone your butt and legs with the squat
The squat is fantastic because there are so many variations of it that you can do. And when you change your exercise style you shock your muscles and prevent them from reaching a plateau. This is a very good thing. Here are a few ways you can use the squat to lose weight and tone your legs and butt.
1. Slow them down
Super slow squats are extremely hard to do. When you slow an exercise down you force your muscles to do all the work as you take gravity out of the equation. When you do exercises super fast you rely too much on the momentum. Slowing down is a great way to up the intensity.
The best way to do this is to take a weight and place it on your shoulders or hold it in your hands. Slowly squat down to a count of five and then slowly rise up to a count of three. Make sure you feel all the muscles working and really focus on tensing them. This will bring you excellent results.
2. Use jumping squats
It seems as though I write about jumping squats every five minutes on this blog. But there is a reason for that – they work. I love them. Jumping squats are one of the best exercises you can do if you want to change the shape of your body.
Basically, start with your left foot flat on the ground and your right knee touching the ground next to it. Then use your left leg to spring into the air as high as you can. Mid air, swap your legs so that you land in the opposite position and then repeat without taking a break.
Check out this post on jumping squats for more details and benefits. I really encourage everyone to try them out as regularly as you can.
3. Add weight
If you were to lift a pencil up and down 100 times do you think it would do anything? Nope. But what if you lifted a 5kg dumbbell 20 times. Would that do something? Of course. If you want to make progress with your figure you need to add weight.
The best way to add weight to squats is by using a squat rack and adding a barbell to your shoulders. I see women at the gym doing this all the time – the real dedicated ones have amazing legs. Each week you should try to add a few pounds so that your legs and butt do not get used to the work. Try to keep them progressing as often as possible.
When doing weighted squats your technique is vital. If you do not squat properly you can hurt your back, legs or hips. The knees are particularly vulnerable. I suggest you read as much as possible about the squat before trying it. Never go below parallel and always get a personal trainer to watch you do it at least once.
Squats really are the best thing you can do if you want to change the way your legs and butt look. Start out slowly with a few sets and reps and gradually increase to higher levels by adding more weight and intensity. I guarantee you will see results faster than you expect.