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.

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