Let me talk a bit about one of the most popular yet often incorrectly performed exercises which can make or break your physique.
I managed to get into the gym a few times over this busy Christmas weekend period, and turned my attention to some almighty box squats… Squats are, no doubt, the best exercise for leg muscle development, strength and growth. Unfortunately, many people don’t get it right and frequently end up with injuries. Though, many love to squat but due to some body difficulties they experience, squatting may be hard and painful. Squatting is a very good exercise that enhances growth hormone spike in the body, and very good for building strong legs, and a hamstring development. Now the box squat is one you must try out, whether you are able to perform the traditional squat or not (for any reason).
To do the box squat, just put a bench or box behind you and sit down on it as you squat, then get back up.
*CAUTION: be very careful and go easy when sitting, so as not to overload your spine.
Great learning tool – make sure you sit and not just bend down. It is especially a good way for beginners to feel secure and balanced.
*if you are finding it difficult getting up, don’t worry, just sit on the box. With this pause at the bottom, you can gather strength and relax the muscle fibres for a second to stand up. This helps develop explosive strength and power as opposed to using momentum.
More weight. Squatting heavy in the traditional way may be quite difficult but with a box squat you can lift more and develop the muscle size more efficiently and safer. There is no risk of falling down etc.
Safety for the back – adjust the height of the box, go as low as you naturally can but not too low, this causes hyperlordosis of the lower back and leads to back pain and injury.
Easier on the knees – going ATG (ass to grass, meaning very low) can be dangerous for individuals with bad knees. Combine this with heavy weight and you can expect knee disaster. With a box your knees will bend only 90 degrees or a bit over.
Train your whole body (including the core) to adapt to your stances. It’s impossible to sit down and relax entirely then get back up – without your core being tight at all times.
Slow, controlled movement. The box behind you helps you to go down slowly and gently enough to bring you back up without losing balance. Some people just ‘bounce up’ from squats using momentum and they end up losing balance.
Now that you know how to squat better, I hope you enjoy squatting more and using different varieties of this powerful exercise to grow and develop.
If I can assist you in any way starting your training and fitness program off to a flying start and good direction for the New Year, I’m here to help anyway I can with my coaching and prep services. You can contact me here: Contact Jim