You either play hard ball, or you become the ball.
We all want bigger legs. Sure we do. But no one likes working legs. It can be intimidating especially in the gym, and especially if using the squat rack. It can be so tiring, the blood getting sucked from the rest of your body by large leg muscles. It’s exhausting. It hurts.
But there are many benefits to working legs, especially when doing squats.
Having strong legs helps us every day. If you have strong legs you more than likely won’t get as tired moving around be it walking, running, climbing stairs, etc. Working the leg muscles also releases hormones that help in increasing muscle mass throughout the body. And working legs, being a large muscle group, will require more time for our body to recover, increasing our resting metabolism rate and helping us to lose fat even when resting. That’s a bonus.
And a great way of building leg strength is by doing squats. I’m going to talk about squats but more specifically squats you can do at home, or outside of the gym.
Let’s cover off some squats you can do outside of a gym, some weighted some not. Here are things to keep in mind regardless of the squat you are doing:
- The butt – Lead with the butt. Think of going to sit in a chair. When you do this, your butt is the first thing to hit the chair. That’s leading with your butt.
- The head – Keep you head up. Look straight ahead, or even up. This helps keep you back at the proper arch preventing your shoulders from turning in, and your head from moving too far forward.
- The feet – keep your feet a little more than shoulder wide, toes pointed out at about a 20-degree angle. This helps to keep your hips open.
- The knees – let your knees track over your feet, not letting them turn in.
- The weight – Keep your weight on your heels instead of the front of your feet. This also helps to keep your butt leading the way and prevents your body from being too far forward.
Let’s look at different squats we can do outside of the gym:
- Air Squats – No weight when doing this squat. Using the techiniques above, feet at proper position, lower your body, while at the same time raising your hands so when you have lowered yourself, your hands are at shoulder height out in front of you. Lower yourself trying to get your upper legs parallel with the floor. Do these nice and slow, pausing at the bottom of the squat. When straightening up, try not to lock out your legs. This keeps the stress on the muscles, keeping them working. Do this to fatigue for 4 sets.
- Dumbbell Squats – Similar to air squats except you have dumbbells in your hands. This adds resistance to the squats giving you the opportunity to bring down the number of repetitions to a point that you will be adding more muscle instead of increasing muscle endurance.
- Prison Squats – The same as air squats, except keep your hands clasped together behind your head. This will make the squats tougher, but that’s what you want, right?
Don’t neglect your legs. Work them at least twice a week and you’ll be glad you did when you start to realize the benefits.
Think of it as the foundation of your body. Strong legs, strong body.
Yours in health,