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5659 Views 50 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  melistic
<i><span style="font-size:xx-small;">Will be crossposted to my blog as soon as I figure out how to add pics in my blog posts! <img alt="smile.gif" src=""></span></i><br><br>
Squats are probably my favorite lower body exercise. There are so many things you can do with them to challenge your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, hips, core, lower back... Good stuff.<br><br>
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, spine nice and aligned, head neutral, shoulders relaxed and down. On an inhale, bend your knees and keep your hips back as though there were a chair behind you. You should be able to see your toes throughout the movement if you glance down. If your knees are farther forward than your toes, obscuring your view of your toes, you are doing more harm than good! Keep those hips back. This girl has great form:<br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
As you can see, her hips are back, her knees are bent to 90 degrees, and her thighs are parallel to the floor. She is holding one dumbbell. If you can handle more weight, you can place a weighted bar across the upper part of your back (NOT on your spine), like this:<br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Here is an example of really bad form. And bad clothes. And bad hair, frankly. <img alt="smile.gif" src=""><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
See how his knees are in front of his toes? His knees should be back over his ankles or shoelaces, like the woman pictured above. She rocks. He does not.<br><br>
More later.
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Get into a lunge position with your right leg forward and your left leg behind you. Your left heel should be off the floor, and there should be plenty of space between your feet.<br><br>
Lower your body weight straight down, and then straighten back up. That's all there is to it. Just straight down and straight up. Your back knee should <i>almost</i> touch the floor. Do not lean forward into the squat. Keep your chest lifted, shoulders squared, and posture tall. Make sure you can see the toes of your front foot throughout the movement; if you can't, you need to shift your weight back. Add weight as you can. Do 10-12 with your right leg in front, then switch your legs and do 10-12 more.<br><br>
Do the split squat as described above, but add an upper body twist. Holding a weight or medicine ball in front of you in both hands (shoulders relaxed, weight no higher than shoulder level, arms straight with a slight bend in the elbows), squat down with your right leg in front. Hold yourself in that split squat position and twist your entire upper body to the right. The twist should originate from the bottom of the ribcage; your whole upper body should twist toward the side wall. Then come back to center, then up to the starting position. Repeat for a set of 10-12, then switch your legs. When your left leg is in front, your twist should go to the left.<br><br>
1. Same as the regular split squat, but place your forward leg on a raised platform -- a step, box, or BOSU.<br>
2. Even harder, place your BACK leg on a raised platform.<br>
With both of these alternatives, form becomes even more important. Do NOT lean forward. Remember, your knee should remain above your ankle when you are all the way down in the split squat position.
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Yes, but they are very, very hard to do with good form!! The split squat with the back foot elevated is a great way to ease into one-legged squats. The higher you elevate that back leg, the harder it is.
Go for it! <img alt="smile.gif" src="">
Stand with your feet much wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointing out toward the side walls. Lower yourself down into a plie squat, thighs parallel to the floor. As always, your knees should be above your ankles. Make sure those feet are wide enough apart to make that happen! Inhale down, exhale up.<br><br>
Hold a stability ball or light dumbbell over your head with your shoulders relaxed. The ball or weight should be slightly in front of your forehead so that you can see it clearly if you just glance up with your eyes without moving your head up. Plie down and do a side bend to the right. Think about bringing your right shoulder down toward your right thigh. Then bend back up to center, then straighten your legs. You can do either 10 on the right and then 10 on the left, or you can alternate. Or both. <img alt="smile.gif" src=""><br><br>
Get into that wide plie stance, but this time put your right leg up on a step or box -- about 6-10 inches high (depending on your level of ability and your height/leg length). Now do your plies. You'll find that you probably cannot go down as far here. That's OK. You'll feel it; trust me! Do 10 and then switch sides, putting the left leg up.
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No! I'll go look! <img alt="smile.gif" src="">
Melis, that's too funny!<br><br>
Do you teach Balletone? Go get certified. You'll love it if you're already doing this stuff on your own. It's a deceptively good workout. Ballet-based, but not a full ballet class. I tell the students we're basically tricking them into doing hundreds of squats in a class b/c of all the plies we do. <img alt="smile.gif" src="">
I did include pics! You didn't like them? <img alt="sad.gif" src="">
Similar to Oache's hamstring exercise...<br><br>
Lay on your back with your heels on the top of a stability ball. On an exhale, use your hamstring, glut, lower back, and core muscles to lift yourself up into a bridge position. There should be no tension or weight in your neck. Hold yourself up in that bridge position and roll the ball in toward your butt, then out again.<br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Try to maintain that nice strong bridge; don't let your hips lift and lower or sway side to side.<br><br>
If it's too easy, take your arms off the floor and cross them over your chest. Or lift one foot up off the ball and just use one leg to roll the ball in, then switch after you do 8-10. Killer.
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<b>TJ</b>, I love split squats. Much more than lunges, even. With a lunge, you can use too much momentum. In a split squat, it's just you and gravity. <img alt="smile.gif" src="">
<b>TJ</b>, is that an assisted squat machine (your shoulders go under the pads and bear the weight)? We don't have that. We have a Smith machine but nothing else good for legs. I wish we had a hack squat machine. YEEEEOOOOWWWWCH!! (In a good way, of course.)
Holy hell! That sounds horrific! <span style="font-size:xx-small;">(Can't wait to try it.)</span> <img alt="smile.gif" src=""><br><br><b>Melis</b>, I'll have to try the toes-out hamstring doodad. Unfortunately, saddlebags are catching up with me!!! DRAT that slowing metabolism!
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