4 years ago, I sprained my knee, but when I went to the doctor, he discovered an old injury that had caused problems in the cartilage around my knee. So, I decided to have surgery which left me immobile for 3 weeks. I had to relearn how to walk, which was on the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But because of it, I was more determined to strengthen my legs. I know a lot of people (mostly guys) hate “Leg Day” but it’s actually one of my favorite. I love it because leg exercises, especially the Squat, are excellent total body exercises. They work your legs, glutes, and core!
The Squat is an exercise most people do incorrectly. However, when done right with proper form, the squat can be a powerful muscle building and stabilize strengthening exercise. It’s also super fun! Last week, I came up with a new way to do squats, so if you’re up to the challenge, try this out during your next leg day. It will increase your balancing skills and increase muscle strength. Most importantly, it’ll help you perfect your form and increase your muscle-mind connection. You’ll definitely feel the burn with these!
The Squat Hold + Push
– feet, shoulder width apart with your body weight on your heels
– knees, slightly bent and in line with your feet
– butt, out
– chest, tall
– chin, up
From the starting form, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. You do this by bending your knees and sticking your butt out. (Note: don’t let your knees go forward past your toes, stick your butt out, and keep your chest up). With a normal squat, once your thighs are parallel to the ground, you would push up from your HEELS (not your toes) by squeezing your thighs and glutes back to the starting form.
However, here’s the challenge:
With your thighs parallel to the ground, hold that position for 5 seconds before pushing upward. That counts as one rep. Repeat this for each rep: go down, hold for five seconds, and push up from your heels.
To make sure that you are placing all of your weight on your heels during the entire exercise, you should be able to wiggle your toes throughout. By doing so, you can reshift your weight properly to your heels.
5 sets X 20 reps (with 5 second holds in between each rep).
Add on weights.
As always, be safe and go for the challenge.
NASM Certified Personal Trainer