Wanna look rockin' from behind? Drop it like a squat! Squats are one of the best exercises (if not the best) you can do for your lower body. So if you want a better booty and leaner legs, why not join the LIVESTRONG.COM team for our 30-day squat challenge?
How the Squat Challenge Works
Check out the video below to watch Daisha show you the proper form for squats. They seem like a simple, natural movement, but you always want to make sure your joints are aligned properly before you bust out 50 to 250 in a row!
How to Do a Proper Squat
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Turn your feet to point out to the side just slightly.
- Hinge at your hips and bend your knees (as if you were going to sit in a chair) while keeping your chest up.
- Either raise your arms out in front of you at shoulder height for balance or bring your hands up to your chest.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor, and don't arch your lower back.
- Now check your knees: They should be pointing in the direction of your toes (not collapsing in or bowing out) and shouldn't extend past your toes.
- Once you've lowered as far as your hip flexibility will allow, squeeze your glutes and stand back up.
- Now repeat!
The Squat Challenge Schedule
Each day, you'll do a set number of squats (see the calendar below), resting every fourth day. (Hallelujah! Your glutes will need the break.) You'll start out with 50 squats on day one and finish with 250 on day 30. Most days in between, you'll add five squats to the previous day's total. But on the days after rest days, you'll ramp it up and add either 10 or 20.
Sound like too much? You can break them into as many sets as needed or try different variations to find what works for you. The point is to get off your butt and get moving! Because, as you may have heard, you can't get the butt you want by sitting on the one you have.
Keep track of your progress with this handy 30-day calendar.
Each week, we'll have a different focus, as well as lots of tips and motivation to help you through the challenge. Here's what you can expect:
And here's your pre-challenge checklist:
- Print out the calendar (or keep it accessible on your phone or computer) so you can refer to it every day.
- Warm up with the challenge by practicing your squat form with just a few reps each day. Look in the mirror if you need to make sure everything looks nice and aligned.
- Join the LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook group to find support and motivation from your fellow challengers.
- On August 1, get ready to start the challenge with us!
Experiment With Squat Modifications
Another great thing about squats is that they're easily modifiable to match your fitness level. If you're a beginner or have knee issues, start with less of a bend in your knees. Only go down as far as is comfortable for you. And if things really start to hurt, stop and reassess. You might need to take it easy with some lighter exercises and stretches.
Some other popular squat variations include sumo squats, where your feet are set much wider than hip-width apart, and squat jumps, where you explode off the ground once you reach the bottom of the squat.
If you're really advanced, you can add weight either with dumbbells held at your shoulders or a barbell across your chest or back. Just make sure that your form is flawless before attempting and that you don't add too much weight and end up injuring yourself.