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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The World's Best Exercise!



Tuesday was a BIG day for me. We had record numbers at the shop! I walked through the door to my 7pm session and saw 22 people standing and waiting for our Double Dare workout! Let me remind you that our warehouse is not fairly large, so it put me to the test to try to make it work for everyone.   
That’s what I love about my job! Always trying to change, looking for new and better ways to challenge the human body and put together into one GREAT workout.  I take a lot of pride in designing my programs and make sure everyone that shows up gets the best of what they are completing!

With that said, Leigh and I came up with an idea to make it work! Before explaining, however, almost EVERYONE was asking us what we would do!? Some had no idea what we COULD do with the limited space. 

So, for today, let’s talk about the exercise that I would call the world’s GREATEST exercise, because of its simplicity, but also having a large amount of diversity.

What is this exercise? One that most people take for granted. Some have trouble with form, while others struggle reaching knee flexion in the isometric position (lowest part of the exercise).

The Squat!

Squats are more than just a little leg exercise! They put everyone who performs them on a fast track to full-body functional fitness!


Any good program must include a squatting exercise. Squats are NOT just necessary for the legs. They shape the lives of those who live sedentary lifestyles! They are the focal point to functional fitness. 

What do I mean by functional? Simple.  We didn’t evolve from ancestors who sat at desks all day playing scrabble on facebook or waiting to see what your buddy tweets about last night.  No! We came from those who did everything from a standing position.  We worked standing, ate standing, and the human body was adapted to do so!

Which is why we see so many with posture misalignments, muscle imbalances, and poor joint function.  The squat is designed to correct them, along with building strength and power in the quads and glutes!

You need to FORGET about the elliptical machine or cross-trainer for metabolic conditioning. Those times have been long gone.  Try knocking out as many squats as you can for one minute and tell me which is harder. They are heart healthy and jack your heart rate up almost to a point similar to that or sprinting!

The only thing I commonly hear about squats in the in-ability to perform them by those who do not think they are capable. Well, I have news for you,.  If you have bent down to pick something off the ground, sat in a chair, or even the toilet, guess what, you’ve squatted!
But the real magic happens when you begin loading the basic squat with weight. This is what improves performance, increases muscle mass, burns fat, and helps offset postural imbalances.

Improve Performance:

Whether your goal is to jump higher, look good at the beach, or shape your legs, squats will get you to that point very fast! Why? Squats activate to “main” muscles of the leg. I like to call them the powerhouse. The quads, glutes, and hamstrings.  All of which play a major role in fat loss, sprinting, jumping, landing, and change of direction.

Improved Muscle Gains

Since squats increase power and strength, it is not surprise that they can also increase muscle size! This is sure to the exercise activating that powerhouse of muscles all in one movement.

According to Dr. Jeff Volek, author of The TNT Diet, squats are so demanding that they trigger the release of hormones like testosterone. Once those hormones enter the bloodstream, they support the growth of your whole body.

And because squats are truly a full-body exercise, you burn a ton of calories when you perform them.

How can a “leg exercise” be a full body? When you place a loaded barbell on your back, every muscle in the body has to fire.

• Your upper back muscles hold the weight and help keep the body upright throughout the set.

• Your core must fire to prevent the body from tipping over.

• And of course, every muscle group in the lower body plays a part in the movement.

So even if you arnt looking to build muscle, squats are a perfect exercise to tone and promote lots and lots of fat loss!

Have I convinced you yet?

Posture, Movement, Bone Density

As I mentioned earlier, squats play a essential part of the muscular system. They help correct many imbalances that you could have developed over the years.

We move so little as a society, spending most of our days sitting and staring at computers and televisions like zombies, that we’ve seemingly forgotten how to move as well.

We didn’t start out this way. Ever watch a two-year old bend down to pick something up off the floor? It’s a picture perfect squat every time.

Squatting will help your body “re-learn” how to become functional sound and stabilized once again.  It’s no easy task, but they are the best exercise to help! You activate muscles everywhere from your back (posture) to your core!

So why not start? Get off those cardio machines today and give me a call to get started with a new foundation of fitness! One that delivers results!

Share your goals with the RIGHT people - the ones who will encourage you, motivate you, and connect you with others who will move you forward towards your goals. Constantly take action - one step closer to your goals every day (baby step or giant step, doesn't matter).

Until Next Time,

Stay Positive! Reach For Your Goals!

Mike Over
CPT, Strength & Conditioning Specialist
 

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