We understand working out at a park or in a gym can be a bit daunting. That is why we have designed all of our exercises so you can do them anywhere. This week it is squats, the king of leg exercises. This exercise works out the glutes, hamstrings and thighs and is really going to help you power up the hills and glide along beaches.
Squats are one of the exercises we recommend in our blog post How to train for a walking holiday.
It is really important that you follow these three rules when you are doing squats.
1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and don’t let your knees bow in or out.
2. Don’t let your knees go further forward than your toes.
3. … (To help with number 2) push your bum back and keep your weight in your heels (when you’re in a squat position you should be able to lift your toes a bit off the ground).
We have broken this up into three phases for you – easy, medium and harder so there is something for everyone.
Phase One: Seated chair squats
This is a great one if you haven’t done any leg strength training for a while. If you can sit down and stand up you can do this! Try not to put all of you weight into the chair. Just use it as a guide and only sit if you really have to.
See the photos below for correct technique. Notice Emily’s knees don’t go past her toes, and her bum goes back?
Phase Two: Free standing squats
This is a step up from the chair squats. The aim is to have your thighs parallel with the ground and not further. We like to use our arms out in front to act as a counter weight and stabilise but this is optional. Make sure you squeeze your buttock muscles and hold in your abdominals.
If you find this easier than the chair squats, it is probably because you are not going low enough.
See photos below for good technique. If you can do 3 sets of 10, then it is time to move on to the next phase.
Phase Three: Back pack squats!
Okay â€“ so you have mastered the above, now it is time to add a bit of weight. Adding weight in a backpack is a really safe way of doing your exercises. The weight is snuggly against your back which helps to keep your back straight. Start off light and work your way up.
Check out Emily’s choice of weights!
Use the exact same technique as phase two but really focus on keeping a straight back. Strap up the backpack properly… oh and don’t do this exercise for too long. You don’t want the wine will go warm!
Please comment below if you have enjoyed this. Happy squatting! Emily and Simon