Workout: 5 rounds of squats and sit-ups
Summer is coming: get your beach body with this workout!
Squats are a great home workout that does not require any gym equipment. Though many body builders use weights while doing squats, you do not need weights to reap the benefits. If you’re looking to tone your legs and butt, squats need to become part of your regular home workout routine.
Here is how to perform squat:
Also, in our “Top 10 Home Workout Moves” we provided you with demonstrations of how to perform a standard squat in correct form, along with a few other squat variations you may enjoy. Once you feel comfortable performing squats, maybe you’d like to take it to the next level? There are several variations of squats (about 17) and below is another one anyone can do in their home without weights. This one is great, especially if your goal is legs of steel!
The Sissy Squat
Despite the name suggesting this is an “easy squat” or perhaps a squat targeted to women, the sissy squat is far from being a “sissy” and is actually one of the most challenging squats men or women can perform to get results. When people hear the word “sissy” they may think “weak,” and if that’s the case, you may be wondering why a difficult squat would be called a sissy of all things.
Although unproven, some Greek mythology and legions suggest the word “sissy” actually derived from a King’s name, a Greek King known as Sisyphus. King Sisyphus was punished by the gods and forced to roll a large rock to the top of the highest mountain every day, and each day he neared the top, the gods would roll the rock back down, so King Sisyhus had to repeat this cycle day end and day out for eternity.
How to Perform a Sissy Squat
- You’ll need a block or small stable item in your home that is a few inches high and level.
- While balancing yourself against other furniture for support, lift your heels onto the edge of the block with your toes on the ground.
- Spread your feet shoulder-wide apart with your toes slighting pointing forward.
- Squat down until you form a 90 degree angle (just like the squat from our demonstration). Hold briefly and return to a standing position. Repeat as many times as you can.
Unlike the standard squat that targets multiple muscles groups, including your hips, glutes and legs (quadriceps, hamstrings and calves), the sissy squat is for those who really want to focus in on their quadriceps (muscles in the front thigh). So you can see, just from this one modification of adding a block to our standard squat, we’ve altered the targeted areas.
Besides offering multiple variations of workouts, squats have some awesome health benefits too!
Health Benefits of Squats: Why Squats are a Great Exercise
- Squats are a total body workout that promotes muscle growth by creating an anabolic environment. Besides strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, squats can also increase your muscle in areas you wouldn’t think, such as your biceps, chest, back and abdomen.
- Squats help us maintain and/or increase our level of mobility since leg strengthening is in direct correlation to walking. Do enough squats and you’ll notice you can run further and jump higher.
- Squats can help us improve our balance, which could in turn, can help prevent accidents/falls.
- Squats can help increase your metabolism, reduce your body fat and they burn lots of calories!
- Squats can help increase your level of physical endurance.
- Full squats can help increase your level of flexibility in your lower body.
- When you perform squats regularly, your body will release endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers that provide you a feeling of relief/relaxation.
- Squats can help protect your nerves that control your prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming damaged and/or stretched.
Now that you know some of the benefits, you may be interested in knowing some of the myths about squats that are floating around.
Negative Health Claims and Myths about Squats
- Squats will widen your hips.
- Squats can damage your heart.
- Squats reduce your level of endurance.
- Squats will ruin your knees and/or cause knee problems.
- Squats will hurt your lumbar spine and/or cause other back problems.
When it comes to the first three claims of widening your hips, damaging your heart or ruining your endurance, there is no supporting evidence to ultimately claim this will happen to anyone who performs squats, and with your endurance, you are more likely to increase it, not decrease it. When it comes to ruining your knees or back, it’s important to keep in mind that any and all exercises are subject to injury if not preformed correctly. You could be injured by incorrectly performing a variety of exercises, and squats are no exception. However, that does not mean you will be injured. Before adding squats to your home workout, please be sure to watch our squat demonstrations in our “Top 10 Home Workout Moves” if you have not already to ensure you perform your squats 100% correctly to get the effects and results you want while reducing your risk of injury.
Although our at home workouts are recommended without weights, there have been known fitness elites who have go on to break world records with squats using weights.
Squat World Records
Most Weight Ever Lifted by an Equipped Squat: Brett Conwill of the USA completed a squat with the weight of 573.8 kg (1265 lbs)
Most Weight Ever Lifted by an Unequipped Squat: Robert Wilkerson of the UK completed a squat with the weight of 453.59 kg (1000 lbs)
Most Weight Squatted in 48 Hours: In Dec 2011, after 6 years of training, Shaun Jones of the UK set a new record of lifting 576,745 kg over 2 days. That’s over a million lbs! 1,271,505.07 lbs to be exact. (Please oh please do not try this at home!)
We hope you have learned a little about squats and we encourage you to try our three squat variations we’ve outlined on our demonstration’s page if you have not already. We are all in this together, and together, we will all get the results we want for are legs and butts!