Too many people believe the only time you'll making progress physically is in the gym. This shouldn't be the case at all.
The more ways you can incorporate physical activity into your day, the better. That's precisely what we're talking about in this week's challenge. The challenge is going to be to perform one squat each time you get up from bed, open the fridge, or stand up from a chair. Sounds hard? That's why we call it a challenge, playa.
Let's go over what you need to know.
Squats are an excellent lower body strengthening movement that target the glutes, hamstrings, as well as the quads.
They require your core muscles to contract in order to keep your body in the upright position, so will strengthen the mid-section as well.
Since the squat uses so many muscles at once, it also is ideal for burning up calories quickly. Doing numerous squats over the course of the day could help to boost your metabolic rate by a significant amount.
How To Squat Properly
In order to squat properly, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, make sure that your knees are following your toes the entire time. If you ever let them move inwards or outwards, this could place immediate stress on the knee joint.
Second, make sure that you aren't leaning forward too much. Some people will bend over too much at the waist, which places a high amount of strain on the lower back. Keep the head looking straight forward to prevent this.
Finally, make sure to go as low down as you possibly can. Don't only go halfway down - that will only produce half the results. Try and get your bum as low to the ground as possible to make the exercise most effective.
If you are experiencing knee pain, going below parallel may place more strain on the knee ligaments, increasing the amount of pain you feel. In this case, only squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Different Types Of Squats To Try
Finally, it's also helpful to consider a few of the different squat variations that you can perform. You can do standard squats where the feet are placed about shoulder width apart and facing forward.
Or, you can turn the feet out slightly and widen your stance to perform a sumo squat. This will target the inner and outer thighs to a higher degree.
Or, you can try and perform the squat on just a single leg and really up the intensity. Note that this is much more advanced however, so you might want to stick to the basic squat for a while before moving to this level.
So start being more consciously aware of yourself over the coming week. Each time you get up from bed or chair, or open the fridge, squat down. I guarantee you'll be stronger by the end of the week.