The squat is one of the best ways to tone and strengthen your lower body. You can prepare yourself for this exercise by placing a chair behind you, sitting down and standing up several times, thinking about the muscles you are using.
Step 1: Stand up and place a chair behind you.
Step 2: Stand comfortably with your back to the chair, your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step 3: Keep your arms at your sides, your back straight, and your chin parallel to the floor.
Step 4: Slowly lower your weight down, reaching back with your butt as if you are going to sit in the chair. Simultaneously, raise both arms out in front of you to help you keep your balance as you descend into the squat.
Step 5: Go down as low as you comfortably can. Your goal is to touch the chair with your butt without actually sitting down.
Step 6: Push back up to a standing position while tightening your buttocks.
Do as many repetitions as you can in 1 minute.
Too hard? Tone it down. Start with a quarter-squat. Keep your hands on your hips. Perform the exercise for less than a minute. Take a breather between squats.
Too easy? Kick it up. Perform the squatting motion without a chair. This way you can descend lower. Perform the squatting motion with your arms over your head. Imagine you're making a "touchdown" signal with both arms straight up.
- Hold a single weighted object, such as a purse, briefcase, or dumbbell, with both hands overhead.
- Hold two weighted objects, such as water bottles, paperweights, or dumbbells, one in each hand overhead.
- Quickly stand up as fast as you can when rising from the squat position.
- Hold the squat position for a longer period of time without sitting on the chair.
This exercise is reprinted from The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough by Sean Foy. This book provides a step-by-step fitness regimen that helps the reader develop a daily routine. In addition to providing a collection of 10-minute workouts that you can work into your day, the book offers motivational help, nutritional guidance, and 48 flip cards describing individual exercises that you can combine to design your ideal workout.