If I asked you to think of a lower body exercise, I’d bet on the fact that squats would be one of the first exercises you thought of. But to really progress and make squats more difficult, dropping into a squat and holding it is a surefire way to burn your legs. Holding a low squat is not easy, and holding a low squat for three minutes is a real challenge, as I found out when I included it in my workout routine every day for a week just for fun. Read on to know what happened
Benefits of squatting
Squats are great for working the muscles of the lower body, especially the quads, hamstrings and glutes. The glutes work especially hard if you focus on pushing into your heels as you rise from a squat. Just don’t take my word for it – Research It is said that squats can help build muscle in the lower body.
As well as working the lower body, squats also work the core muscles, as your abdominal muscles have to work to keep your torso upright as you sink into the exercise.
Keeping a low squat increases time under tension (TUT), in which the muscles remain under tension for a longer period of time, causing them to work harder. As I’ve mentioned in previous challenges, it’s the timing of tension that promotes muscle growth – putting the muscles under resistance challenges them in ways that normal bodyweight squats don’t. In the case of a squat hold, it’s normal for your leg muscles to shake – in fact, it’s a sign that they may not be accustomed to working against resistance for so long.
It has been observed that resistance-based training also helps increase bone strength, which is important as we age – studies It has also been found that squats help improve bone mineral density.
How to do a squat hold
Ready to get started? Here’s how to hold a squat with perfect form:
- Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your knees and push your hips back as you descend, keeping your back flat and your gaze forward.
- Pause when your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push up through the heels and return to standing.
- When holding a low squat, instead of pushing off and standing up, you simply remain seated, keeping your feet firmly flat on the floor, keeping your gaze forward and keeping your back and core engaged so you don’t start to slouch.
Of course, all this can be made harder by adding some resistance, perhaps in the form of one of the best adjustable dumbbells held in both hands or two dumbbells, one held on each shoulder.
I chose to hold my low squat for three minutes, but you can simplify this move by decreasing the time, or make it harder by increasing it.
I Did 3 Minute Low Squats Every Day for a Week – Here’s What Happened
three minutes go by very quickly
You might think it would take an age to pass three minutes while doing low squats, but in my experience, it flew by. The first minute was tough, the next 30 seconds were on fire and then the rest of the time was spent moving a little more as I kept stopping to move my legs. By the end of the week, I decided to challenge myself by adding a minute every day and found that I was able to hold low squats for five minutes, despite a lot of setbacks.
Oh my quad! If there was one muscle that felt like it was burning more than any other muscle, it was my quads. My quads are pretty strong from years of exercise, weights, and running, but this simple bodyweight exercise made them cry out in pain.
This week-long challenge reminded me that times under stress are never easy. That said, by the end of my week, I’m pretty sure my quads can handle a lot more low squats than they could at the beginning.
I added some pulses for glute burn
Although my quads burned the most during this challenge, my glutes also felt fine after a few minutes. To really feel my glutes working twice as hard, I added some short pulses. As someone who puts a lot of focus on maintaining strong glutes, I felt the need to make sure that my glutes also got a good workout with this lower body challenge. As the largest muscle in the body, strong glutes are very important for everyday activities, but especially important to me as a marathon runner.
my form is messed up
When performing a normal, up-and-down squat, it is important to maintain a flat back and forward gaze. Why? This is mostly to prevent muscle soreness and potential injury, especially if it involves additional weight in the form of dumbbells or barbells. While holding my low squat, I felt my back begin to arch – this exercise required me to touch the base of my body at regular intervals, reconnect with my back and core, re-align my hips and There is a need to keep your gaze forward.
As always, if you’re unsure of your form the first time you practice an exercise, it’s always a good idea to check with a personal trainer.
I took regular breaks
A minute after I held my squat, the burning sensation intensified. After 90 seconds, I had to stand up and move before sitting back down into my squat. After this, I took two more quick breaks before the three minutes were up. So, you could say I cheated a little. Needless to say, by the end of the week, my break count had gone down as my legs became accustomed to the lower squat hold.
I Did 3 Minute Low Squats Every Day for a Week – This Is My Verdict
Should you accept this challenge? 100% yes! Keeping the muscles in your lower body under tension helps them become stronger, which is useful for normal daily activities as well as other sports and exercise. Also, as I mentioned, any type of weight-bearing exercise, such as squats, is great for helping keep bones strong.
Although doing low squats may seem incredibly monotonous, time flies when you fight the voice in your head telling you to give up and stand up.
If you have difficulty holding a low squat for three minutes, start with two minutes and gradually build up. To make it even harder, try adding it as a finisher to your next day’s workout, or add weight if you dare.
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