Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
Squats are one of the most basic, important building blocks of training (and physical activity in general, for that matter). If your form is hurting, you’re going to have a hard time making any gains—and worse, you could be setting yourself up for injury down the line once you start pushing more weight.
You might have missed out on proper instruction when you first started squatting, or maybe you’ve fallen into some bad habits as time has passed. Hopefully, you haven’t taken some bad advice from uninformed gym buddies or bad coaches, but that can happen, too. No matter why your squat form is flagging—and even if it’s in solid shape—you should give this progression series from trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. a try.
This smart progression strips away the heavy weight to focus instead on the mechanics of the movement. You’ll use tools like a miniband and box and the goblet position to get your form right, and work your way up to the standard movement. Focus on sitting back and keeping your torso strong, especially if your issues are coming with your posture. Check out this explainer for some tips on exactly what you should be focusing on fixing.
“Progress your squats by making your way up a ladder,” Atkins advises. “Once you’ve mastered the first variation in multiple sets of 8’s… then ten reps the following week… then 12 reps the week after that, move onto the next exercise for three weeks (and so on from there!)”
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? GET BETTER AT SQUATS (plus a tip on how to make your exercises last 12+ weeks!) >>> READ MORE ⠀ Progress your squats by making your way up a ladder. Once you’ve mastered the first variation in multiple sets of 8’s…then ten reps the following week…then 12 reps the week after that, move onto the next exercise for three weeks (and so on from there!) ⠀ Squat Progressions: I. Banded Bodyweight Squat II. Goblet Squat III. Goblet Tempo Squat IV. Double Dumbbell Squat ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Check our www.LeSweatApp.com for all my workouts and programs: ☑️30-Day Abs ☑️Le Sweat Ab Challenge (available until November 10th) ☑️6-week Bikini Body Challenge
If you’re more comfortable with your form and these exercises, you can use this as a series, working through 3 sets of each movement for 8 reps. If that’s the case, load up more weight for the goblet squat and double dumbbell squat (as long as you can still perform the reps with proper form).
Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.
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