Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Squat effectively

Comparing the Squat to the leg extension:
There are many reasons why the squat is a better exercise to add to your fitness program over the simple leg extension in the gym. The Squat is a compound exercise and is more functional because more joints are moving and controlling the movement. The Hip joint, Knee Joint and Ankle Joints are flexing and extending where in the Leg extension only the knee joint is active. When choosing exercises in your program compound exercises are better because they simulate regular activities. Sitting down in a chair or to the toilet is a very similar movement and also when walking, climbing stairs or even running we have the same 3 joints moving during these activities where as in the leg extension we rarely, if ever are required to perform such a movement. Because there are more joints moving in the squat we are required to develop strength and control and our stabilising muscles develop to improve balance as well os the obvious strength gains. Compound exercises also
recruit more muscle fibres and incorporate more major muscle groups which allows you to work with greater weights and have greater strength gains. So when when choosing exercises for your exercise program focus on exercises like the squat, dealift, Chin ups and bench over the leg extensions, calf raises and wrist curls you will develop the strength required for these muscles in compound exercises. However there is a place for single joint movements such as the leg extension. If you are suffering an injury or have muscular imbalances then it may be important for you to get one side back up to speed with the other side of your body.

Remember when building strength in the gym we all have time restraints and physical restraints. We can't exercise at max intensity with heavy weights for hours on end so keep your programs short, simple and functional. Implement some of the TrickyFit exercises into your fitness routines. You can do them at home and when you can perfect them we can add some weights to some or simply move to a more challenging version. For example I teach the push up and some progressions of the push ups that provide more challenge and strength demands. So check out my TrickyFit videos and get inspired and creative when exercising.

Beginner Squat test

  • 2 sets of 20 squats with 1 minute rest in between sets

Intermediate Squat test

  • 5 sets of 20 squats with 30 seconds rest in between squats

Advanced skill test

  • 10 sets 20 squats with 30 seconds rest in between sets

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