I do a good amount of leg work, step classes lunges etc. I hear that a squat is the exercise of choice when it comes to really targeting the glutes and increasing the lean-defined muscle in the leg. What is proper form and does it work? (Sandra, Amityville)
Yes, it works! And pound for pound it is the biggie of leg movements because it is a compound movement used in daily activities. The only way this exercise can be ineffective is if you have serious, lower back problems and knee issues- then caution must be addressed. But since you are doing step class and lunges, I assume you must be fine. Here is how to execute a squat:
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly pointed out.
- Keep shoulders back and upper torso upright throughout.
- As you lower your body, let the knees follow in line with your feet.
- Lower parallel to floor or close to this position
- Focus on something above or in front of you to keep torso upright
- Maintain a controlled speed up and down, inhale down, exhale up.
- Keep abs and core always in check. Keep your center strong.
- Always push off the heels.
Squats will improve your balance as you age.
Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html