Thighs getting bigger, but bum staying the same size? Are your squats making the problem worse?

fitnessThe look of the moment for woman seems to be for slender toned legs with a toned well rounded backside.  So it’s become a more common sight seeing woman in the gym performing squats

This is brilliant! Squats promote muscle tone, fitness, and strength and conditioning throughout the whole body.

Though when performed poorly or with bad starting posture, the emphasis is shifted from the glutes, and into the thighs and lower back. This can lead to poor posture, back pain, over developed quads, and under developed glutes.

So here are some pointers  for men and woman to get the most out of squatting!

Flexibility

Make sure your quads, hip flexors and glutes are well stretched. This will allow you to move freely through the movement, and apply power evenly through the glutes, hamstrings and quads. A daily stretching and mobility routine will do the trick….throw in a foam roller to really help.

Form

Start the squat by sitting back as if you we’re going to sit on a chair. Make sure the hips bend before your knees do, and don’t let your knees move ahead of your toes. Keep the shoulder blades pulled together, head up and chest high. Drive up out of the squat, squeeze the glutes and push the hips forward.

Feet

For a standard squat your feet should be shoulder width apart, and pointed very slightly outwards. Most importantly, make sure you can feel the weight pushing through your heels and not the front out your feet, this emphasis the glutes.

Core

A strong core means the upper body is stable, leaving the lower body to get on with the business of squatting!

Depth

We’re not saying your backside has to touch the floor, but thighs parallel to the floor is a good depth to aim for. As you move lower, the glutes and hamstrings are called into action.  Don’t try and force it though, go as deep as feels comfortable. With good form and mobility you’ll be able to move deeper over time.

Warm up

Squatting cold makes you more likely to push excessively with the thighs and also increases your chance of injury. Perform and good warmup, especially focusing on activating you glutes….exercises like bridges and single leg dead lifts are perfect for this!

Recovery

The muscles need to time to repair and grow……squatting  again too soon slows this process down. Allow a couple of days beetween squatting sessions, for a particularly tough session give it even longer.

 

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