by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer Certified Nutrition Specialist
As you might know already that squat is one of the best among the most result giving exercises for improving the changes in body composition such as gaining muscles and losing out fat. It is because exercise like squats and also like dead lifts involves more muscles under heavy weights than any other weight bearing workouts known to us. Hence, these exercises increase significant responses in hormones namely testosterone, growth hormone, etc.
The Fact is that even research studies conducted in Universities have proved that introduction of squats into training would increase body building in the upper torso, including developments in lower body as well. One thing to be checked in this process is that the joint movements in the upper torso are not done. Your goal may be gaining muscle mass, building a strong and functional body, losing body fat, or improving athletic performance. To achieve this goal performing the basic squats and some variations in deadlifts are the best solution.
If you still cannot believe me that squats helps in you in achieving a lean and powerful body, then go ahead and join other overweight people who are pumping away uselessly for hours in boring cardio equipment.
Squats are done using barbells, kettlebells or even just your body mass. Squats should only be done with stand alone weights. In my e-book i.e., “The Truth about Six Pack Abs” contains reasons on why machines are useless and even in some case can cause trouble when compared to free weights.
Barbell back squat is a familiar type of squat where people follow in which bar must rest on the trapezius muscles of the upper back. Professional coaches believe that front squats & overhead squats are instrumental in improving the efficiency than the back squats by reducing the risk of injuries in the lower back.
My view is that when we combine 3 variants of squats, it would leverage the best results for overall muscular formation, athletic efficiency reducing fat loss and performance. Front squats in an average is considered to much harder than back squats, whereas overhead squats is difficult than both back squats or front squats.
If you are primarily used to performing back squats, it will take you some number of sessions to become use to front squats, so start with applying light pressure. Then gradually you will be able to feel the change or considerable increase in your build.
Performing front squats:
Front squat raises the abdomen areas to higher degree for stability as it would stay in more upright posture when compared to the posture we would be in back squats. It is a lower body exercise yet it is great for imparting internal strength and sustainability into squatting movement. It is somewhat difficult to perform the act initially in laying the bar correctly on your shoulders but it can be done. To help that there are two ways:
First method helps you by let’s first step below the positioned bar and put your forearms into an “X” posture and at the same time resting the bar on the crater like formation that is created by the shoulder muscle near the bone, make sure your elbows stay high up so that your arms are inline to the floor. Then hold the bar in place with your fists versus the bar for support.
Alternate way is that you can hold the bar by positioning your palms internal side up & the bar resting on the fingers of yours versus the shoulders. Both methods involve your elbows stay high up to ensure that weight does not fall. Here make sure your upper arms stays parallel to the floor in the course of the squat.
Then, start the squat from your hips by holding yourself back and down resting the load on the heels in contrast to the balls of your foot. Keep your weight more towards your heels which is the key aspect in squatting to secure your knees from injury and develop injury resistant joints. Squat down position should help your thighs stay parallel to the floor and then press back up to the initial position.
Always mind that squats should be done precisely to strengthen the knees; when squats done incorrectly can harm your knees in a big way. Practice well with an un-weighed bar or a light weight to learn the flow. Many people are surprised after realizing how well this exercise works your abs when you do correctly.
For complete descriptions of over 50 of the most effective full body exercises for stripping away body fat, download my e-book The Truth About Six Pack Abs