If you’re reading this, you’re in luck. You are about to get filled in on a little secret that is going to literally change how you work out forever. This tip is going to a)increase your fat burning potential, b)give you the nicest set of legs and glutes you’ve ever imagined possible, and c)make it easier to add muscle in other areas of your body as an added bonus. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. These benefits are all the results of one super exercise; the squat.
If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, the squat would undoubtedly be the one you should choose. First off, there are multiple variations of the squat. Sumo squats, plie squats, front squats, hack squats, jump squats…the list goes on. Don’t get overwhelmed. Stick to the traditional squat, and feel free to work in other variations from time to time (I’ll give you suggestions below).
The squat (right up there with the deadlift) works more muscles in the body than any other exercise. This means you are working more muscles in less time. With squats, you don’t need to worry about doing the boring isolation exercises to hit your legs. You guys know what I’m talking about; the hamstring curl machine, or the leg extension machine, or the hip abductor machine…forget those. Put more time into squats, deadlifts, and leg presses, and your entire leg routine is set. The squat is going to work the muscles in your thighs (quads), hamstrings, butt (glutes), and calves. But the fun doesn’t stop there; muscles in your lower back, abdominal region, shoulders, and neck are also going to be called in for support. These stabilizing muscles will be recruited when you perform a proper squat. Not to mention, you’re going to give yourself a cardiovascular workout at the same time. This much work and muscle tension is going to result in a boosted metabolism, which is going to result in an increase in the number of calories your body burns.
It’s no secret that ladies in particular are especially concerned about their lower half. The reverse seems to be true for the guys. Well, I’ve got a little information for you both today. For those concerned with developing a killer butt, thighs, and hamstrings, the squat is the answer. Nothing is going to get you perfectly shaped downstairs the way the squat will. Work a few variations into your routine to be sure you’re hitting all of those lower body muscles accordingly. Ladies, do me a favor and PLEASE don’t be afraid to do these for fear of getting too big and bulky. I’ve worked with, or have worked alongside, hundreds of women over my years in the fitness biz. The ones with the tightest, most toned, and best looking lower bodies were the ones that made heavy barbell squats a large part of their routine. And for you guys out there with the toothpick legs and big upper body beach muscles, I’ve got a tip for you too. The legs contain the most musculature in your body. When you work and build the largest muscle in your body, a chemical reaction is going to take place, making it easier to add muscle EVERYWHERE else. That reaction is the creation and release of testosterone into your system. The excess testosterone (ladies, I can already hear you getting antsy – chill out. You guys don’t have this excess testosterone that’s going to make you big like a guy.) is going to make your upper body gains come about easier than ever before. This is all because you started working your typically neglected leg muscles.
So, the next time you think about jumping on the stair mill for 30 minutes to work your legs, or replacing the leg day you know you should be having with back and biceps, STOP. Walk over to a smith machine, or even better, a squat rack and follow the routine below:
- Traditional Squats – 4 sets of 8-10
- Sumo Squats – 4 sets of 8-10
- Deadlifts – 4 sets of 8-10
- Leg Press – 4 sets of 8-10
- 100 squat jumps
There you have it. Doing the workout above, with squats being the focal point, will put you on a path towards increased metabolism, a beautiful lower body, and a toned and athletic looking body from head to toe.
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