Perfecting The Squat October 29, 17
For years, in every gym I have ever been to — and now, on social media — I’ve seen people doing squats. They are the staple for almost every workout and nearly everyone does them.
Arnold Schwarzenegger swore by them. In fact, in his first big movie, “Pumping Iron,”(which I was obsessed with) he said there is no better way to pump up your legs than by doing squats (remember this).
I did squats for years in an effort to build up my glutes. I generally ended up building up my legs and creating a lot of lower back and knee pain.
With all the women I’ve seen doing squats, I’ve noticed the same results — bulky legs and glutes that’s don’t reflect the amount of work they are putting into the gym to try and build them. I sought to address this issue and figure out a way my clients could squat without bulking their legs, destroying their knees and back and keep the movement focused on their glutes.
Flash forward 4 years and this is what I learned:
1. Everyone is squatting way too low. In my program, I don’t even use the word “squat.” I call them “sits.” I’ve found that as soon as you drop your butt down more than two to three inches, the exercise is no longer in your glutes but rather in your thighs and knees. By keeping the motion very small — one to three inches, all the resistance stays right where you want it — in your butt. Do all your squats this way and it will transform your body. You will eliminate all bulking in your legs by keeping the weight out of your legs and in your butt. I’ve helped my clients build up their butts this way and virtually erase all the bulk from their legs, not to mention, it builds incredible strength in your core and butt.
2. There are more than 60 ways to do a squat. Possibly the most important part of my program is constantly varying the exercises by tweaking them, just a little. This way, you work an entirely different part of the muscle with each slight change. This is so important because your glutes are such big muscles and it takes a lot to work every part of them. In my program, I do about 60 variations of a squat or “sit.” Every time you change the angle, the foot position or the stance, it works your butt differently. This is the secret to creating a perfectly round butt. The traditional squat works just one part of your butt — right in the middle — and neglects the rest of the muscles. By constantly varying the squat position, you will ensure that every part of your glutes are working and before long, your butt will be transformed, perfectly round, and it will reflect its natural shape.
3. Squatting is the best lower ab exercise. As many women know, the lower abs (everything below the belly button), can be one of the hardest parts of the body to isolate and tone. Over the years, I have done thousands of sit-ups and planks to try and flatten that part of my stomach, but nothing worked. When I perfected the squat and used the muscles needed to stabilize my core while doing it, I finally felt my lower stomach work in a way it never worked before. It didn’t burn and ache like it did after doing all those abs/core-concentrated exercises. I just felt it working in the right way. That led to it working all the time — when I was walking, picking something up and every time I squatted in various ways. This was the key to finally flattening my lower abs. Figuring this out changed not only my physique, but it’s helped all my clients, as well.
So, give it a shot. Try doing a few “sits” and let me know what you think!
Post by Stephen PasterinoHi, I'm P, founder of P.volve. I'm passionate about fitness, wellness, and all of the healthy lifestyle choices in between. Get more out of your workouts by staying up to date with our Blog, where I share all of my fitness secrets.
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