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Waist Exercises: The Squat

The squat, also known as the air squat, is among the most complete exercises that can be done for your body. Not only does the squat work out your abs, but it exercises a number of other significant groups of muscles: the hamstrings, quads, and lower back.

But wait, you interject, how are squats going to help out my stomach? Excellent question.

A highly effective waist exercise routine doesn't just focus on the muscles of your core, it focuses on your entire body. Not only do you want to work your entire body to be able to burn fat to see those marvelous abs beneath, but your whole body must get stronger in order for your abs to become stronger.

The Movement

Begin in a natural standing position with your feet about shoulder width apart. To start the movement, send your butt back as if you are going to sit down on a small box behind you. As you descend, lift up your arms in front of you to help keep your balance and keep your weight in your heels. If you're incapable of freely wiggle your toes, you don't have enough of your weight in your heels.

Keep your chest up and your back straight while you squat. Bending your backbone so that your chest faces the floor is not just harmful to your back, it reduces the effectiveness of the squat. As you get lower in the squat, the most likely area of your spine to curve will be the lower back. Resist it and keep your back straight, inspecting in a mirror or with your hand if needed.

During the entire squat keep your head in a neutral posture by focusing on a place on the ground 4-6' in front of you.

Continue to lower yourself so that the crease of your hips is slightly lower than the top of your knees. This is the bottom of your squat. Your knees should be behind your toes and your shins should be near-perpendicular to the ground. Your whole back should be straight, including your lumbar spine.

Reverse the motion and come out of the squat by standing back up, in the mean time keeping your weight in your heels and your back straight. As you come up you may drop your arms if you wish.

The squat is finished when there is no longer any bend in your hips or your knees.

Begin the next rep by lowering yourself yet again.

Scaling the Squat

The squat may be made more difficult by using weight (e.g. kettlebells, a barbell over the back, weights in each hand, milk jugs, etc) or by squatting on one leg with the other leg straight out in front of you, also called the pistol.

The squat should not be made any easier than the bodyweight, or air squat. Some people may have mobility issues in their ankles that hinder them from lowering themselves completely into the squat while keeping their weight in their heels, however. This may be dealt with by sliding € - 1€ blocks or plates under the heels while squatting as well as utilizing different stretches to boost ankle flexibility.

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