Tag Archive for lifting

Proper Squat Form

Happy Monday! I thought I’d start this fabulous week off by talking about our booty’s best friend: the squat. 

(Please note, I am not a doctor and this is not a prescription. Please check with your doctor before making any exercise changes or trying anything new if you’re not comfortable with it.) 

I love squats for SOOOO many reasons: 

1. They are a GREAT exercise for the legs, butt, and core. 

2. They are something you can do anywhere.

3. They help build the booty and keep it perky!

4. The squat is a practical movement. By this, I mean that it is used in our everyday lives. A non-practical movement? The tricep-kickback. Tell me when you do that in daily life…

5. Versatility! They can be used as an isometric movement (static squat), a heavy movement (heavy barbell squats), a plyometric (jump squats), and more!

I created a quick video of me squatting so that you can see what proper form looks like. Of course, it can take practice and patience, so keep working on it if you’re not there yet!

My three tips for performing a proper squat are: 

1. Sit back first. Many people start to bend at the knees first, but this puts you in the position to squat with your knees bending past your toes and your weight to be put in your toes, rather than your heels. Sit back and THEN drop down. This will keep your weight in your heels, utilizing your glutes and hamstrings more. 

2. Squat Down with your chest up. A good way to practice this is to wear a shirt with a logo on the chest and face a mirror while doing the movement. You should be able to see that logo in the same position for the entire movement. 

3. Push through your heels. When you get to the bottom of your squat (which ideally will be butt below the knees, or as we like to call it “ass to grass”) you obviously have to come back up! Push through your heels in order to promote the body to stay in it’s upright form and not put your weight back into your knees. 

I hope these tips help you to perform your best squat yet! Start with just body weight and move up to weights as you begin to get more comfortable with the movement. You can also practice Wall Squats to train your body to keep your chest upright during the movement. (Start as close to the wall as possible in order for you to perform the squat. Do 3 sets of 15 reps 3-4 times per week, working towards moving closer and closer to the wall). 

Wall Squat

Wall Squat

Happy squatting everyone!

Questions for the day:

1. What is your favorite exercise?

Mine is the deadlift, but squats are a close 2nd.

2. Did you watch the Superbowl?

Let’s put it this way, I fell asleep in the 4th quarter. No joke.

Day 2

So far, so good! I’ll be honest, the lifting plan is kicking my ass more than I thought it would. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done straight sets without supersetting. The last year and a half has been mostly light lifting/plyometrics focusing more on upper or lower body rather than muscle group splits. Right now all I’m doing is 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise but more volume for each muscle group. I’m sore!

It actually feels good to be eating this clean again. I’ve actually been pretty healthy over the last 1/2 year and I’m basically just cutting out the extras that I was having. (Pop chips, sweet tarts!!)

For the next 3 days, I will be in San Francisco, so I won’t be able to lift. It’s fine since this initial phase of the plan calls for 3 lifting days off. I just rearranged my lifting days. I’m hoping to get some hiking in while I’m in San Fran, but if not, no biggie.

Here’s what food for most days looks like for me:

 

Breakfast: egg whites & oatmeal

Mid-Morning: Smoothie with: Banana, strawberries, protein powder, amazing grass superfood, spinach, and sometimes a little greek yogurt.

Lunch: Chicken & sweet potato with BBQ sauce and veggies (obsessed with this right now)

Snack: Greek Yogurt (plain 0%), blueberries and almonds

Dinner: Chicken or Turkey, sweet potato and veggies

Snack: Haven’t needed one so far, but would be a protein shake or something

 

Anyways, so far I’m feeling good and it feels really nice to eat really clean again. On days where I can’t bring food with me (studio sessions, vacations) I just will make the best choices I can. Which, to be honest, is pretty easy. Getting grilled chicken or egg whites at a restaurant with some veggies usually isn’t too hard to do. Or my personal favorite, turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread!

I’ll likely check back in when I’m back from San Fran. Take care!