You Have Options as to What Kind of Squats You Start With.
You can do:
- Body Weight Squats —>Great to start out with in the beginning to get your groove right. Experienced do 100’s.
- Door Squats —> Good for those with balance problems
- Smith Machine Squats —-> For serious results without the need for spotters
- Barbell Squats —> The king of leg and butt builders. Your end goal should be to do these.
Body Weight Squats: These will get you ready for the barbell with less soreness.
Look for barbell and door squats below in this post.
1. Stand with feet 1-2 foot widths wider than shoulders
2. Feet should be pointing straight forward or turned a little out to the sides
3. Arms in front for balance
4. Inhale as you go down
5. Drive through your heels and exhale as you stand up
6. Do not lock knees out completely
Do up to 3 sets of as many as you can do comfortably. Start with 3 sets 15 or 20, then move up to 30 per set, then 50 when you feel you can perform easily. Both men and women athletes can perform hundreds.
**You will see your best progress though by using a barbell in my opinion but these are great to start with.
Squats are “whole body” exercise, and you should ultimately perform them with some added weight. There is a lot to keep track of while doing squats and it is extremely helpful to do them in front of a mirror to make sure your form is good.
Video thanks to the very good people at Crossfit.
Quick Note: If you’re just going to stay with body weight only, you can work your way up to several hundred squats per day. Some people have done 500 squats regularly every day for various training such as skiing, MMA training etc.
Smith machine squats
will give you most of the effectiveness of the barbell without the danger of losing control of the bar. Every gym or fitness center will have a couple of these. 3 sets of 10 work up to 12-15 reps with light weight, then add 5 pounds and work up to 10 reps again. Feet out wide and go down to feel it in the glutes.
Squats are the ultimate lower body and compound exercise because they use more of your body’s muscles than any other exercise and are also great butt toners. You can do squats in the gym or at home. You can do them with your own body weight, while holding dumbbells in your hands and for serious trainers, a smith machine or with a barbell across the back of your shoulders (use a spotter when you use the barbell until experienced).
The truth is that squats are the best exercise for toning the glutes (butt muscles) and shaping them out. You can get a really beautiful shape by doing squats the right way and I’m going to give you easy instructions below.
Here’s how to do a proper squat to accentuate the butt muscles (Caution you will probably have to buy new jeans after a few weeks of doing this)
FOOT PLACEMENT IS KEY
Remember – Foot Placement is Very Important to Get the Effects that You Want
First, start with your feet 1 foot width wider than shoulder width apart and your feet slightly turned out. The wider you place your feet apart, the more you will be working your glutes (butt). But it is possible to go too far, so use some common sense when finding your best placement and start with a moderate stance then go wider as you get used to it.
You Have Options as to What to Do With Your Arms During the Squat. You can:
You can hold your arms out in front of you the first few sets to keep your balance. (Like you are pushing someone away)
You can use a bedroom door by wrapping a bath towel over both door knobs and hold onto the ends of the towel while squatting. It easier for beginners to go down all the way using the doorsquat.
Alternatively, you can start out with a broomstick or something similar resting on the back of your shoulders as in the pictures here in this article. The objective for the future is to have you using dumbbells or a barbell with light weights on each end.
Inhale as you squat down and go no lower than the point where the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor at first. Keep your head up and your back straight. An excellent way to keep your head up is to focus on some point high on the wall, near where it meets the ceiling and keep your eyes there. (when you’re not checking out your form in the mirror)
Exhale as you straighten up. Straighten your legs completely, but don’t lock your knees out. Also, make sure your knees don’t extend out beyond the tips of your toes when you go down. This avoids knee damage (which is also the reason for not going lower than knees parallel to the ground until you’re very experienced).
One trick I learned early from one of my coaches is to concentrate on driving through your heels up to the standing position.
Note: If you’re working your butt, squeeze the glutes as you stand so that you feel it in the muscle. Your glutes are the largest muscles in the body.
OK let’s go over it once more. We’ll start with body weight squats.
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders. The wider and lower you go works the butt more.
2. Feet should be pointing straight forward or turned a little out to the sides.
3. Arms in front for balance.
4. Inhale as you go down.
5. Drive through your heels and exhale as you stand up.
6. Do not lock knees out completely.
Do up to 3 sets of as many as you can do comfortably. Start with 3 sets of 20, then move p to 30 then 50 when you feel you can perform easily.
When you’re comfortable with this amount of work you should graduate to a barbell or dumbbells so that you can add some weight to your squats and get more results out of them.
You can do squat work up to 3 times a week, letting the legs rest 48 hours in between workouts. This is what a serious person would do to absolutely change the lower body for the better in the shortest amount of time.
Some athletes do 100’s of air squats as in the video above. It’s fun and can really kill you. Remember be sort of careful so you don’t ruin a knee before you even get started. Have fun.