If you're an avid follower, you know squats are my favorite. If you've just joined me, get ready to hear (and perform) them a lot.
Because Squats bring SO much awesomeness on every aspect of the fitness spectrum. There's the most obvious aspect, which is how they will physically make you stronger, and then there are the aspects of the squat that are seldom talked about, like the emotions, the confidence, and the mindset around them.
When you squat you're doing more than almost sitting down then standing back up, you're doing a movement that has been around since before the human race. Ever see a chimp sit in 'resting' position? You are practicing a functional movement that your body is supposed to perform. By doing this, you're rewarding your body by moving, building strength, and allowing it to work the way it's supposed to.
Do you walk into a squat rack, put a barbell on your back, add 45lb weights on each side, and rep out a set of 10?
No. This might even seem like a different language to some of you reading this, and that's totally okay.
Start simple, with just your body and your mindset.
Speaking of mindset...
If you're squatting for the first time go into it with a 'starter' mindset. Begin with the basics, take the proper steps to become more comfortable with the movement, and eventually add weight. Just like anything else in life, you never want to set yourself up for failure, so it's okay to start small!
So many squats, so little time..
If you go to any fitness magazine, #fitspo account, website, anything that has to do with physical activity, I guarantee you'll see at least 8 different types of squats, but here's what you need to take into consideration: squat according to your body and training modality.
Where should I get started?
Squatting was probably one of the first things you ever did as a baby, but you might not have done them since then. You want to make sure you're comfortable squatting your own body before adding any weight, so start there.
- Place your feet about shoulder width apart and bring your arms up to chest level.
- As you start to descend your body towards the ground by bending your knees and hips, sit your hips back like you're going to sit in a chair.
- Keep your weight in your heels, your knees out, your core tight, and your chest up.
- Once you hit below parallel, drive through your heels and stand straight up, squeezing your glutes at the top when your hips are at full extension.
*Keep in mind your mobility may make it difficult to squat below parallel, and that's okay! Try to get as close to parallel as possible when you're first starting.
Repeat this a few times, taking your time on the descent and accelerating on the way up. Feel that burn? Good.
How to become better at them?
You want to squat well, you squat often, and squat with a sense of intention. There is no such thing as perfect, but you want to shoot for it when it comes to squatting.
Put a timer on for 30 seconds, complete as many squats as you can, and use that as your baseline. After you find this out, add 5 reps to that number everyday for a week.
SUNDAY: 30 seconds = 20 squats
MONDAY: 25 squats
TUESDAY: 30 squats
WEDNESDAY: 35 squats and so on and so forth...
The confidence will kick in shortly after you make squatting part of your routine. You'll notice changes in your body, like a tighter core, a little booty gain, and increased definition + strength all around. Be proud of those changes and let them motivate to keep challenging yourself and pushing to that next level.
I want to hear from you! Always feel free to reach out via email with any questions, comments, concerns, or squat programs to try.