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. If you want a better booty and leaner legs, join the LIVESTRONG.com team for our 30-Day Squat Challenge.
How the Squat Challenge Works
Starting Wednesday, July 1, 2020, you can take on this challenge with the LS team and our Challenge Facebook group. Each day, you'll do a set number of squats (see the calendar below), resting every fourth day. (Hallelujah! Your leg 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 5 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.
Click here for a printer-friendly version of the challenge calendar!
How to Do a Proper Squat
Check out the GIF below for proper squat form. 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!
- 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!
Experiment With Squat Modifications and Variations
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.
How to Join the LIVESTRONG.com Squat Challenge
Step 1: Keep Your Challenge Calendar Handy
Print out or save the 30-day challenge calendar above and use it each day to help you stay on track. Do the prescribed number of reps each day, then check off each day as you complete them. Before you know it, it'll become habit!
Step 2: Connect With Us on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.com team members, join us in our Facebook Group. We'll share tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
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:
Step 3: Master Your Squat Form
Warm up to the challenge by practicing your squat form (see above for details) with just a few reps each day. Look in the mirror if you need to make sure everything looks nice and aligned.
Step 4: Stay Motivated
Throughout the 30 days, we'll provide you with the tools and information you need to stay motivated and reach your weight-loss goals. Sign up for our daily newsletter or visit our homepage to get linked up with the squat challenge and other great content, including:
- Daily motivational articles to keep you focused on your goal
- Nutrition and fitness advice, including recipes and workouts
- Real-time community support from thousands of LIVESTRONG.com members