Squats are awesome.
Challenging yourself to a 30 day squat-fest is pretty awesome too.
After reading my article on the 30 Day Ab Challenge, a reader asked my opinion on the 30 Day Squat Challenge. Amy H, here are my thoughts.
Squats are one of the best exercises to target all the major muscles in the thighs and booty; two areas of focus when critiquing our own bodies – especially women.
Quite simply, when you target big muscle groups you use up more energy. Those muscles need calories to work, repair and strengthen. What does that mean for you…? Squats will burn calories baby!
How do I feel about the ’30-day squat challenge’..?
Pretty good. If it’s going to get people motivated and focused on moving their bodies more, and hopefully cleaning up their diets – I say crack on. Just bear in mind 30 days of squats will not radically change your physique. Nor are you likely to get the incredible booty you dream of. You’ll get it if you are determined, just not in 30 days. A challenge like this points you in the right direction. With time and dedication you’ll have a booty to rival Beyonce!
I discussed realistic expectations in my 30 day ab challenge post. The same principles apply here. Overall it’s a positive step in the direction of a healthier, tighter, happier and more spunky you.
What is the MOST IMPORTANT thing with squats..??
If there is one thing that can really help to boost your results its going to be performing your squats correctly. This means engaging those butt muscles. How do we do this…?
- Engage your core muscles. Pull your belly button into your spine, lift upward through your pelvic floor*. Finally, straighten your back, think long tall spine.
- Feet should be shoulder width or slightly wider. Now lower that booty, imagine you are aiming for the toilet seat (I know, I know). Try maintaining that beautiful upright posture (straight back) and try to stop your knees going past your toes.
- Okay, now your down here…you gotta get back up! Here’s where the magic happens – dig those heels into the floor and push up. Pushing through your heels engages those luscious booty muscles.
- The entire movement should be smooth and controlled. Try a 2 second count for lowering and then 2 seconds for raising. Slower if you dare.
Just how low should I go..??
This will depend on your level of experience with squatting. If you are new to squats, or haven’t been doing them for a while stick to lowering to a comfortable 90 degrees…toilet seat level (unless your in Japan….your toilet seat will be somewhat lower).
If you are after more of a challenge and want to really get those buns of steel screaming ‘stop!’ sink a little lower, deepen the squat to a point where you still have good control. You should be able to drive yourself back up with good technique. If you do go lower please really focus on technique, posture and core support. Also, if you have troublesome knees – stick to the toilet seat version.
Some variations to tweak some other sneaky muscles….
Try wide stance squats – hold your arms out either side of your body, now place your feet at about elbow width. Squat as per above.
Or maybe a sumo squat…this will engage the inner thighs a little more. Keep the wide stance but turn your toes outward. Now squat! Always, always maintaining beautiful posture and technique 😉
So whether you’re doing the ab challenge, squat challenge (or both), good on you for kick-starting a healthier life.
*Engaging your pelvic floor: Guys – imagine I’m holding an ice cube under ‘the boys’, lift them upwards so they don’t get iced! Gals – you’re busting for a wee…no toilet in sight, use the same muscle to tighten and hold on!
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