Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Squat Challenge

I'm starting a 30 day squat challenge over on my FBook page, Fit after Fifty-five (yes, I started it a few years ago, lol.) I searched the web to find a beginner friendly challenge and I found what I think is the perfect one. Travel Strong offers a great challenge that has variations for beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers. That way, your challenge will not stop at 30 days and you can keep building on the progress you have made.

Counter Balance Box Squat: The counterbalance box squat is simply a basic squat, but done to a surface like a chair or stool. You use your arms as a counterbalance to make the exercise easier, and the surface as a way of measuring your depth. Don’t sit down on the surface; touch your butt to it to make sure you are going to the same depth with each rep. You can make box squats easier by using a higher surface, or harder by using a lower surface.

Prisoner Box Squat: Instead of using your arms as a counterbalance, place your hands behind your head to perform what is known as a prisoner squat. A prisoner squat is more difficult than a counterbalance squat because it requires more balance and stability. Once again though, you will be using a surface like a chair or stool to make sure you hit the same depth with each rep.

Counterbalance Air Squat: After a couple of weeks of squatting to a box you will have built up an awareness of how low you need to go until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Parallel (or lower) is the depth you should be aiming for with each rep. An ‘air squat’ is simply a bodyweight squat performed as per the instructions earlier in the article. ‘Air’ is used to distinguish it from other variations.

Prisoner Air Squat: This is the toughest variation of the 4 in the beginner squat challenge. Again, make sure you are getting as close to parallel as you possibly can, but this time place your hands behind your head to make it more challenging.

The link above also gives you tips on doing the exercises correctly and warm ups.

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