Today’s topic is about Squats.
Hate being called chicken legs by your friends? Want to build your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and your gluteus maximus (booty)? Well look no more, the perfect solution to your first world problems is the squat! The squat is an exercise that is performed with a standard 6 foot barbell. Squats activate more than just your legs, in fact it also works your abs, and lower back! Now, to perform the squat here are some key tips.
No matter what exercise it is, you must be able to maintain form throughout the entire exercise. If you don’t your gonna look stupid and horrendous from other people’s perspective. Seriously, you will. Not only will your form will draw you attention and snickers from others at the gym, but you injuring yourself while you are squatting will too.
To perform the Squat with good form, you must keep these 5 things in mind mentioned by Mark Rippletoe.
Rip explains the positioning of the grip and the bar for the low bar back squat.startingstrength.com
1-Thumbs above grip
3-Elbows are up and pointing backwards. Do not drop them!
4- Load of the weight is on the back, not on your arms. Particularly in a spot between the rear deltoid and trapezius.
5 — Stand shoulder width apart
The idea of having the thumbs above the bar is very subtle. Many people tend to forget about this, or overlook it. To go into further detail, always keep in mind that your grip on the bar should require no weight on the arms at all times. The weight of the bar lies specifically on back only. The reason as to why the bar should lie directly on back is because your back (with your legs) is the only group of muscles capable of carrying X amount of weight. Many people complain about tendinitis, in their wrist and elbows. That’s because of the grip on the bar, many people keep their thumbs underneath the bar (now I don’t). Immediately the load of the weight is transferred into your wrist, forearms, and then your elbows, causing pains in the joints. To avoid this, keep the thumb above the bar, as well as the wrist. Another key thing is to keep your forearm straight while elbows are point behind you.
Narrow grip and Elbows are another key point. When your elbows are pointed behind you, contraction of your upper back muscles occurs. That is key for the squat because you want to maintain proper back position in order to avoid injury. Narrow grip helps contraction with the back because by narrowing your hands, you create more contraction within the back causing what is popularly know “pinching of the shoulders”, also know as thoracic extension. This ensure that the back can handle the load of the weight, while avoiding injury.
Finally, stand shoulder width apart.
Now when actually performing the eccentric part of the squat, here are other key things to remember.
1 — Keeping your back straight at all times
2 — Performing the squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground
3 — Track your knees outwards not inwards.
4 — Drive with your heels during concentric movement.
As mentioned earlier the back must be straight at all time. By not doing so, this could lead to spinal injury which is terrible.
Many people do not squat until their thighs are parallel to the ground. This is not necessarily wrong, but if your looking for maximum tension and a bigger booty you would want to remember this phrase “Ass to the grass”. By performing the squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, you maximize muscle tension which leads to larger muscles or booty.
Tracking your knees outward is another key thing. When knees are tracking inwards, it could possibly be due to weak hip abductors. Try to constantly track your knees outward when performing the eccentric movement of the squat. This can also lead to potential injuries within your knees and ankles.
Now finally the heels. The heels must always be in contact with the ground. They are your driving force in this movement. They will be your best friend during your squat journey, from chicken legs to horse legs. Once the heels are off the ground, your toes and the ball of the foot immediate switch places with heels in handling the load. Your toes are not as strong as your heels, sorry. Standing on your toes can also potentially roll the bar over your neck maybe even killing you. So remember kids, heels on the ground at all times.
Now some people are visual learners I understand that, so if what I said to you just now did not make any sense, feel free to watch this video.
With that said, ass to the grass, chicken legs.
I literally forgot to record what I’ve been eating this week, sorry and cut some slack fool. However, I did record my exercises.
Tuesday — Arms day
Straight bar curls 60 pounds, 6 Sets, 10 Reps.
Tricep pull-downs 77 pounds, 6 sets, 10 Reps
Thursday — Arm day + Chest (Ms. Cadete comes back from smile camp)
Straight bar curls 60 pounds, 6 Sets, 11 Reps.
Tricep pull-downs 70 pounds, 6 sets, 11 Reps
Dumbbell press 70 pounds, 4 sets 10 reps
Benchpress 115 pounds, 4 sets 10 reps
Shoulder press 40 pounds, 4 sets 10 reps.
Friday — Ass to the grass
Squat 135 pounds, 6 sets, 10 reps
Cable curls, 65 pounds, 6 sets, 10 reps
Tricep pull-downs, 77 pounds, 4 sets, 10 reps
Finished off today with a hot tub ;)
I ate a lot of food this week, As I write this on a Friday night, I scaled myself and I’m sitting at 185.6 pounds and 7.3% body fat. I’ll check myself again in the morning and see if I’m not drunk at the sight I’m beholding.
Look at that sexy beast.
The journey to the greatest version of myself continues.