Thirsty Thursday and Squats!

Hope your Thirsty Thursday has been more successful than mine!  Work is still crazy so I’ve been trying to chug these little mini water bottles, but it’s hard to keep them on hand while I’m running around making sure everyone else is hydrated:)  So far I’m at 60oz, where are you?My 4:50am wake-up call was not very welcome, and around noon I needed coffee.  Not my favorite, but taking a nap at my desk isn’t really my boss’s favorite so I had no choice!

Week 5’s workouts are pretty fun, but I’ve really been pushing myself to lift heavier lately and it’s making me so tired!  I’m always a stickler for form (I’ll redo a whole set if I think that my form was off), but lately I’ve been extra cautious to keep my back straight or fully extend my arms because I don’t want my hard work to result in injury.  Or worse, lack of progress! Gasp!

I’ve found that there is one, extremely important, exercise that people have the most difficulty with.

THE SQUAT.

I love squats.  Squats, squats, squats, squats, squats, everyyyybodyyyy!  Squats are definitely my favorite exercise, and it’s taken me a long time to be able to do them correctly.  I love how they are also an incredible core exercise (compound ftw!), and they make me feel strong, the many different variations, the cardio-squats, everything! I even love how sore they make me! I’ve also attempted (and succeeded in some cases) to teach some of my friends how to do a squat correctly.  Well what I should have been doing is showing them THIS video!

This little exercise (pushing a medicine ball out while you squat) is great because it helps you overcome that hardest part of the squat: letting your hips go back.  I’ve had this described to me in many ways-you’re sitting down, you’re mooning someone, you’re making a table top with your quads-they are all great analogies, but it’s hard to put all of the different motions together.

  1.  Keep your back straight! This doesn’t mean it has to be perpendicular to the ground, but it shouldn’t be curved or rounded.
  2. Don’t let your knees go past your toes.  This is possibly the trickiest part because we want to go as low as possible, but it’s difficult to allow your hips to move back far enough to go low.
  3. Keep your knees in line with your toes.  So when your knees bend, then should move in the same direction that your toes are pointing.
  4. Chin up! It’s never a good idea to look straight at the ground when doing a squat, but don’t overextend your neck either.  Keep your neck and shoulders loose while you let your core and lower body do the work!
  5. The ultimate goal is to be able to squat all the way down and lift yourself back up, with perfect form of course:) It’s a lot harder than it seems, especially with a barbell across your shoulders!

 

 

Amanda Latona-She is a prime example of the miracle of squats!

I hope this little intro in to squats helps those who are intimidated by the gym!  The squat rack is your friend, and don’t be afraid to jump on the leg press to ease yourself in:)