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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Squats

I don't usually hit on specific exercise movements, but I wanted to talk about the benefits of squats.

Lots of people dread leg day. I personally love it. Squats work the entire lower body without having to use weights. They are known as a leg workout, but you're entire body will benefit from this simple movement. They even work deep down into the core. They do not require any equipment. You can do them anywhere. I like to do them randomly throughout my day, just for an added bonus. And, girls, they're about the best thing you can do to lift that booty.

When done properly, squats can help you improve you upper and lower body strength. They create an Anabolic environment , which promotes muscle building throughout the entire body. Squats are a very functional exercise movement. They are one of the best movements to help improve balance and mobility and well as help you perform real life daily activities. Like getting into or out of a chair, bending over to pick something up, lifting things, and my favorite reason....hovering over public toilets. Ha.

Strong legs are important, but even more so when you get older. Keeping your legs strong will give you a better quality of life for a lot longer. Also, keeping your core and legs strong and improving mobility and balance will help prevent falls. They also improve range of motion and flexibility in your hips and ankles, and protect them as you get older. They have also been proven to improve movement of feces through the colon resulting in more regular bowel movements.

The proper way to perform a squat....
Warm up
Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart
Keep your back in a neutral position, and keep your knees centered over your feet
Slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle
Return to starting position -- repeat 15-20 times, for 2-3 sets for beginners (do this two or three times a week)
Breathe in as you lower, breathe out as you return to starting position

Exercise is important in disease prevention. Add squats to your weekly routine. If you are unstable, hold onto a chair,or wall, or kid, or dog to protect yourself. Women....these are the types of movements that prolong and even prevent bone loss. We all want to look good, but sometimes we forget about feeling good and improving our strength for functional and practical reasons. Never lose sight of WHY we should exercise and eat right. It's not all in vain. If you're doing it for that reason only, you will not be living the healthy lifestyle you should be.

If you have questions about squats, or any fitness questions at all, feel free to email me. Lacysfitnessblog@gmail.com

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