A Lean Life

Bodyweight Squats for a Full Body Workout

Bodyweight Squats are at the core of any bodyweight workout plan. They will torch your legs, but also work other major muscle groups when done correctly:

  • Thighs
  • Hips/Butt
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Abs
  • Upper and lower back
  • Core Strength

Bodyweight SquatsThey can be done anywhere, anytime, and you don’t need any type of equipment to do them.  And once you master this most basic squat, you can take on some more advanced squats that go to a whole new level with one-legged squats (pistol – free leg forward, or lunge – free leg to the rear).  And also hindu squats, which are a variation of the regular movement.

One of the great benefits of this exercise is that when you hit early middle age (30 and over), you have to be very careful with workout injuries.  I have had many, and learned from all of my mistakes.  These types of squats are very safe, which is important as well.  They look easy, but your legs will really burn and your thighs will be very sore the next day after the first time you do them.

Benefits of this Exercise

There are a number of benefits to performing this exercise…

  • Perform them anywhere, anytime
  • Build strength in your legs and core
  • Good cardio workout if you do high reps at a good clip
  • Will improve your balance and mobility (your sense of body control)

Performing Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight SquatFirst, before doing any resistance training or bodyweight exercise, always do a proper warm-up:

  • A few minutes of light cardio (jog in place) to warm the muscles
  • A few minutes of dynamic stretching to loosen the muscles

Bodyweight squats are a very simple movement, but they are a technical movement and really should be done in perfect form to receive maximum benefit.

  1. Stand tall with very good posture.  Your feet should be shoulder width with your toes pointed out slightly – about 15 to 30 degrees.  Arms at your sides with your palms facing to the rear.
  2. To start the squat, bend slightly forward at the waist keeping your back straight, and at the same time bend your knees so that you lower your butt down and to the rear.  Your knees will move out in the direction of your feet.
  3. As you move your body down, your arms will swing out until they are straight in front of you when you are in the down position.
  4. Keeping your back straight, lower your body until your upper legs (thighs) are parallel to the ground.  Inhale on the way down.
  5. Push through on your heels to return to the start position.  Exhale on the way up.

They are a very effective bodyweight exercise for building strength, and also getting in a light cardio workout.

Perform as many reps as you are comfortable with.  If you are new to this exercise, it will only be 10-15.  As you build these muscle and improve your stamina, you can shoot for 100 in quick succession and that is a good workout.  And quite a smoker!

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