Кві 12

One-Leg Squats (“The Pistol”)


At last, you are at the finish. I hope you are reading this article when fully mastered the technique of all the previous variations of squats (especially on one leg). Although even full squats are acknowledged basic exercise, forcing the big muscle groups to work, exactly the one-leg squats give an ability to train legs at home with maximum efficiency. Having learned to squat correctly on one leg, you can reach the level of force stamina, that is unavailable to most of habitues of new-fashioned gyms and fitness centers. Home exercises can be effective, and squats – is the best proof.
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: stand straight, move your bodyweight to one leg, rise the second one to your hip’s level (try to keep it straight or bend it in knee a little). Straighten your hands before you and spread your shoulders, so that during all the exercise your back was straight (photo 1). Bending the base leg, do the full squat till the rear area of your hip touches your calf (photo 2). Hold on for a second, then go back to the starting position. Repeat the necessary amount of reps, then change base leg.
One-Leg Squats (starting position)One-Leg Squats (final position)
Notice: always start from the weaker leg. Watch the posture, do not bend your back too much. The heel of your base leg should not tear from the floor, and its knee – get out of the toes level. If the full one-leg squats are too difficult for you – try to use a small, 20-30 cm object, on which you can put your inactive leg’s heel at the lower position. Also at the start you can hold the pillar (for example, door or chair) with your hand. To exit the lower point you can put a stack of books, a few bricks or other small object by your side – then in the lower position you can help yourself with hand. But gradually reject all this “helpers” and aim to do the one-leg squat with perfect technique. Because only in that way you get not only harmonically developed leg muscles, but the deserved hail of master of the power squats. Good training!


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Опубліковано у Squats
Кві 12

Partial One-Leg Squats


This exercise is to prepare you to one-leg squats, that are justly considered as an athletes sport form indicator. I remind you: you must easily do 20 full squats before you come to one-leg exercises group. Do net try to skip the classic squats – because to perform even partial one-leg squats you will need all the force of your hips and well developed sense of balance.

Partial one-leg squats

What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: take a chair, which you were using for partial squats. Stand tightly backwards to the chair and move all the weight to one leg, getting up the other one, and bending it in the knee. Keep the balance, hold your body straight. Lift up your arms (photo 1). Keeping balance, start to bend your base leg in knee and hip, slowly going down till you touch the chair with rear hip area. You can move bodyweight to heel, but don’t lean back too far (photo 2). Hold on for a second, then go back to the starting position. When you have done the necessary amount of reps, change the base leg.
Partial one-leg squats (starting position)Partial one-leg squats (final position) 
Partial one-leg squats (complicated variation with leg raised)Notice: always start the exercise cycle from the weaker leg. As your training level rises, try to squat with your inactive leg straight (hold it approximately on your base leg’s hip) – this will not only give you additional load on the leg, but help you to move the part of your bodyweight from the weaker knee joint to the stronger hip joint (photo 3). Though performing this kind of squats has a danger to fall backwards, use a stable chair or put it tightly to the wall. Remember the right breathe and rhythm: three seconds on going down (inhale) – one second pause at the bottom – two second on going back to the stating position (exhale) – one second to prepare to the next rep.

The Skater

What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles.
Performing the exercise: stand on one leg, getting the other one up and bending it in the knee and hip, so that the top of the hip was parallel to the floor. To keep the balance put your arms before you (photo 4). Start to squat, leaning a little forward and bending the base leg in knee and hip. The inactive leg bends only in hip joint: its knee should be on the base leg’s heel level. Go down to the moment, when the knee of your inactive leg touches the floor (photo 5). Hold on for a second, then go back to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Skater (starting position)Skater (final position)
Notice: this exercise is for professionals, so do it professionally. Do not try to make it easier by bad technique – you risk to get an injury instead of strength. If it is difficult for you to perform it – go back to partial squats on one leg or decrease the squatting depth by putting the bent towel under your inactive leg’s knee (it also can save your knee from hitting the floor). At the lower point you can help yourself with your inactive leg’s fingers, slightly pushing off the floor, but gradually come to correct technique. You know, you are close to the finish. By mastering this kind of squats you will discover the road to the hardest, but the most effective at the same time exercise for legs – one-leg squats.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Опубліковано у Squats
Кві 12

Squats for Beginners


If performing classic squats is difficult for you, try one of the easy variation of squats, proposed below. They will not only prepare your muscles to the following loads, but will teach you the right performing technique

Pillar Squats

To perform this kind of squats you will need a stable pillar about one meter high. You can use a table, a chair with a back, or just grab the door or doorjamb on that height.
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: take the starting position with your hands on pillar and your legs on shoulder-width. Stand straight, main load should be on legs (photo 1). On inhale start to go down, at the same time bending your legs in hips and knees until your rear hip area touches calves (photo 2). Hold on for a second (do not relax your muscles) and start to rise, exhaling and helping yourself with hands.
Pillar Squats (starting position)Pillar Squats (final position)
Notice: keep full control of the movement, do not squat “for count” (springing at the lower point and jumping out of the lower position). Stand on the full foot, do not let moving on toe. Gradually reduce the part of hands and move the accent to legs.

Chair Squats (Partial squats)

What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: find a chair or stool with height, so that when you sit, your knees were about 90 degrees. Stand tightly backwards to the chair, with your legs on shoulder-width and your toes turned outside a little (photo 3). On inhale start to go down and rise your hands to horizontal position at the same time, until you touch the chair with your rear hip area (photo 4). Hold on for a second and go back on exhale, lower your hands.
Chair Squats (starting position)Chair Squats (final position)
Notice: at the beginning stand straight, spread your chest, look forward, weight should be separated equally. When going down watch your knees not to be out of toes level (ankle should be almost perpendicular to the floor). At the lower point do not relax your muscles, do not sit on the chair – it is just a level to assess the squatting depth. As you rise, watch the knees position – they should be fixed in one direction, do not bring together or spread them. If it is difficult for you to do this exercise – take the higher chair, but try to go down lower over time, preparing your muscles to full squats.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Опубліковано у Squats
Кві 12

Squats


What muscles do you need to train to launch the metabolic process for the whole body? The leg muscles. Training of what muscles will help to lose weight in shortest terms by huge energy consuming and the “afterburn” effect (when after workout your body stays in mode of increased energy consuming for few hours)? The leg muscles. What is the most “ripped” muscle at gyms? Biceps! This biceps-madness is one of the causes to people, who are serious about development of their body, prefer to train at home. They understand, that without strong legs it is impossible to safely and productively train any other muscle group. And the best exercise for legs is certainly the squats. Absolutely natural move, giving absolutely fantastic results, as well as possible fits for home training. Start to squat – and most of your physical development problems will disappear along with overweight and periodical depression. Include squats to your training program – and start saving money for new clothing. Because only this universal legs exercise (the biggest muscles in your body) is able to help you normalize your bodyweight without extra financial costs or questionable meds. You don’t need to hunt for a new-fashioned diet or to look for a miracle mean of gaining mass. Just start to squat. Start right now.
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: take the starting position by putting your legs on shoulder-width and turning your toes a little outside. Cross your arms before yourself, putting your palms on shoulders (photo 1a, 1b). Start to go down, bending your knees and hips at the same time. Hold your back straight, avoid leaning front – rather, approximately at the middle of your way down, move the center of gravity a little backwards, like you want to sit down on a small chair. At the lower point you should touch your inner hip area to your calves (photo 2a, 2b). Hold on for a second, and go back to the starting position, doing the lift only with your legs force.
Squats (starting position, front view) Squats (starting position, side view)Squats (final position, front view)Squats (final position, side view)  
Notice: remember, squatting is a power exercise. Do not try to make it easier by springing at the lower point with your muscles and standing up with heave. The movement should be controlled. Watch the position of knees – they must always point at your toes direction. Distribute the weight equally to both of your legs and to the whole length of your foot. While rising, use your muscles and imagine, that you are not just unbending legs, but pushing the flood with them. Perform the exercise with tempo 4-1-3-2 (four seconds to go down, one second pause in the lower point, three seconds to rise, and two seconds to prepare to the next rep). If it is difficult for you to keep balance – put your hands before you or rise them to horizontal position as you go down. Watch your breathe: exhale before you start to squat or as you go down, as you rise – exhale with your abdominals tensed (this will help your back muscles to keep your body vertical). If you are aiming to master one-leg squats – try to put your legs more and more narrow, until your heels touch: this will teach you to keep balance and help you to develop front leg muscles, that are responsible for balance. Since performing this exercise causes increased load on muscles and joints, always do it after the stretch or do the first set at limited amplitude (gradually increasing the depth).
Variations of squats: if classic full squats are too difficult for you, start from easier variations – squats with pillar and partial squats, which you can read about in article “Squats for Beginners”.
If you can easily squat more than 20 times with required technique – it’s time to move to the “pro” category and take a look at different variations of one-leg squats.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.


Other articles about squats:

Easy squat variations: pillar squats and partial chair squats.
Partial one-leg squats: on a chair with inactive leg move (“skater”).
Full one-leg squats (“pistol”).

Опубліковано у Squats