Monday 24 July 2017

Karl Henry: 10 most important exercises you will ever learn - Week 6 - the squat

Squat - step 1
Squat - step 1
Squat - step 2

The squat: probably the most famous leg exercise of all time. You will see all sorts of variations of the classic squat every day on social media and in gyms across the country. It is the exercise that will work most of your lower body muscle groups and it's super simple to do. It's easy to adapt too so you can vary the effect of the squat. There is nothing not to love about this one, and in today's column, I want to give you the basics with some simple variants.

To start with, you should only go as low as feels comfortable for you. Different people will have different abilities and different ranges of motion so the depth of your squat will vary on your range of motion. To start with you don't need to add weight, your body weight is enough.

Variations

There are so many ways that you can make your squats harder. The obvious one is to add more weight, using dumbbells or a barbell, either on your back or at the top of the chest.

You can also shorten the range of motion by going all the way down and only coming half way back up then back down again. By shortening the range of movement you will really challenge the legs.

Another way to adapt the squat is to add a holding motion in at the end of the set, simply holding the lower part of the movement for as long as you can.

Fitness tip of the week:

Sprint! A simple but effective way to maximise your cardiovascular workouts is to add some sprint intervals into the mix. No matter what form of cardio you do, adding in some maximum effort sprints can be a great way to get your body to burn fat, improve the aerobic benefits and also to help change up your workout which helps to keep you interested. You can make them any length of time that you want, just put some recovery time in afterwards, repeat several times and you're good to go.

Irish Independent

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