24 May 8 Minutes Squat Challenge | Lower Body Workout – Squat Variations – Beginner Workout
Pilates Fitness Squat Challenge is not only a lower body workout but also a fat burn workout! Squat Challenge is designed to boost your cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your lower body in just 4 days! Completing the Squat Challenge will take you through 8 different squat variations, including Sumo Squats or Plie Squats. If you are looking to lose weight or elevate your fitness, we will advise you to repeat the Squat Challenge for 4 weeks – it only takes 2 – 8 minutes every day!
What happens to your body when you squat every day?
Your legs and glutes are the biggest muscle groups in your body. If your exercise routine is focused on lower body workout – reducing body fat and increasing muscles in these areas, you will hit your weight loss goal much faster than if you work on other areas of your body. Hence Squat Challenge is also great for fat burn workout.
A squat is a multi-joint movement, this means that multiple muscles are used to perform a single squat. As such, a squat uses significant energy and will increase your strength, fitness, balance, and flexibility if consistently performed over time. Embarking on a Squat Challenge is the easiest way to get started on your home fitness journey to deliver your best body in a few weeks.
How long does it take to see results from lower body workout like squats?
You will see positive changes to your body just after one round of Squat Challenge as you will be doing different squats. However, if you are gunning for big changes, try repeating the Squat Challenge every week for a month.
Will 20 squats a day make a difference?
If you are unfit, 20 squats a day if properly done will likely give you some muscle soreness the next day. It will be a great fat burn workout to kickstart your fitness journey.
If you are overweight, 20 squats will be a significant challenge to your body!
If you are relatively active, then 20 squats will probably be quite manageable and you may want to do 3 sets of 20 instead.
This is why our Squat Challenge utilized the HIIT method instead of counting repetitions – do as many squats as you can in 45 seconds followed by 30 seconds rest. We believe a time-based workout is a better way to conduct a self-regulated high-intensity workout.
Can I lose belly fat by doing squats?
Absolutely! Your core – primarily your abs and obliques will have to work to support the squat movement. Consciously engaging your abs when you are standing up from the squat position is the best way to train your core and protect your back. Daily squats is one of our favourite fat burn workout!
What are the disadvantages of squats?
A squat done the wrong way may injure your joints and muscles. Also, squats is a type of lower body workout and you may be neglecting your upper body muscles.
To ensure you are doing squats correctly, our Pilates Instructor will be cueing you as we do it with you to ensure you are in the right posture at all times. Also, we have incorporated various Squat variations that will work your upper body as well.
How does the Squat Challenge work?
Break for 3 days and repeat. It is recommended to do this Squat Challenge consecutively for 4 days and then let the lower body rest for 3 days before starting again.
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What is an Air Squat?
Air squats are the perfect way to learn the proper form for squats. Air squats are a good lower body workout to build both a good strength foundation and balance. This exercise mainly works on your thighs, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes, helping you build muscle in these areas. It also demands you to work your abs, because balance is important for the move too.
Air squat tips:
- Do not allow your knees to go past your toes
- Gaze far ahead as you squat to keep your spine straight and shoulders back (do not look down to the floor)
- Stand up by pushing through both heels and engaging your glutes and abs (not putting weight on your knees to get up)
What is a Plie Squat aka Sumo Squat?
Plie / Sumo Squats originated from the ballet position Plié, which requires one to externally rotate the hips such that the knees are looking to the sides instead of forward. You should also keep your spine upright when bending the knees into the squat. Due to the turnout, Plie / Sumo squats focus on toning your inner thighs while working your glutes, quads, hamstrings.
Plie / SumoSquat Tips:
- Start with standing feet two times the width of your hips, turn your toes out into a 45-degree angle before you squat
- Do not lean forward when squatting, focus gaze far head at eye level to keep your body upright
- When you are in a squat position, ensure your knees are right on top of your ankles to protect your knees. Adjust your stance if your ankles are wider or narrower than your knees when in a squat position
What is a Split Squat?
The split squat is a unilateral movement that works your core harder with the added benefit of focusing on the functional strength of one leg at a time. Unilateral work (working a single leg at a time) is always tougher for your fitness and a great way to boost your blood circulation. With less strain on your lower back, the split squat is preferred over a traditional squat for lower body workout.
Split Squat tips:
- Start with your thigh and shin at 90 degrees for both legs instead of simply stepping back one leg. This is to ensure the alignment is friendly to your knees and that you are activating the right muscles based on your leg length
- Focus on squeezing your hamstrings and glutes of your back leg to get up instead of leaning forward to the front knee
- Straighten both legs when you stand up and give your thighs and glutes a good squeeze before going back into the squat
What is a Squat Press?
The squat press is one of the few squats that work your upper body. Holding a squat position while moving your arms pushes your fitness endurance and is a great full-body workout. This exercise targets almost every part of the body: legs, glutes, arms, and abdominal muscles.
Squat Press tip:
- Use any weights you can find in your house and choose the weight accordingly to your fitness level. For instance, you can use a 500 ml filled bottle for each arm and start the move. Just ensure both weights are equal
- Gaze far ahead to prevent leaning forward. It is important to keep your torso upright, sustain the squat position and only move your arms.
- To work yourself harder in this lower body workout, try to lower your bum to the same level as your knees and hold that position as you move your arms.
What is a Kneeling squat?
Kneeling squat is an exercise that primarily targets the glutes, quads, and abs. Kneeling squats is more focused on isolated glutes and particularly lower abs engagement. You will also improve the mobility of your hips as it is also a hip hinge movement.
Kneeling Squat tips:
- Go as low as your knees allow, do not strain your knees. You may not b able to kiss your bum on your heels and that is ok
- Cushion your knees with a towel or double fold your mat.
- Think squeezing glutes and someone pulling your skull from the ceiling to get up instead of leaning forward to propel upwards
What is a Squat thrust?
Squat thrust involves mini jumps and immediately pushes your cardiovascular system into work within seconds. Squat thrust targets your whole body including shoulders stability and cardiovascular endurance. If you dislike jogging or swimming but still want to work your heart, then squat thrust is one exercise you should do daily.
Squat Thrust tips:
- You can walk backward instead of jumping if your ankles or knees are no good. However, walking decreases the cardiovascular work and makes this a pretty easy exercise
- Land lightly without causing stress to your ankles
- Kiss your heels onto the floor when you jump back on the return to stretch your lower back.
What is a Squat Jack?
Squat Jack is another intensive move that boosts your cardio fitness in our challenge. Holding a squat while jumping in and out provides an intense burn in your leg muscles as well as raising your heart rate for a great calorie burn. This move focuses on toning your outer and inner thighs and will be challenging for most people since we rarely use the sides of our legs.
Squat Jack tips:
- Start with small jumps in and out, spread your feet, and land softly on the toes and balls of your feet, with your knees slightly bent.
- Remember to keep your chest up, make sure to engage your glutes, abs, and back so that the knees do not take all the hits.
- If you have knee issues, it would be more appropriate to do an alternative by replacing the jumps with small steps in and out to protect your knee cap.
What is a Wall squat?
Wall squat (also known as wall sit) builds strength and endurance in your glutes, and leg muscles, especially your front thigh (quadriceps). This lower body workout also works on your abdominal muscles to support your glutes. It may look easy as if you are leaning against a wall, but it is quite challenging to sustain the position. In our daily lives, strong quadriceps are extremely important as they are used to get out of a chair and walk downhill or downstairs, which is why this exercise is a beneficial exercise for everyone!
It is ideal to keep the right angle at your knee, you can always modify your squat to a larger angle between your thigh and the shin. Hold your wall squat for 45 seconds and enjoy the burn in your glute and leg muscles.
Those are the eight exercises of this lower body workout. If you enjoyed the squat challenge, please subscribe to our Youtube channel (@PilatesFitnessFam) and follow our IGTV (@sgpilatesfitness) so that you will be notified whenever we launch a new fitness challenge!
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