Squatting Made Easy

July 17, 2017

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Welcome back to Down with the Fitness!

In the first edition I just kind of rambled and mentioned how much fun working out to Pantera and Black Label Society is. I didn’t have any real plan of attack at the time, I just knew I wanted to start passing on some of the knowledge I’ve gained as a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast to the Rockaholics!

The exercises and principles we go over here will be tailored for Rockaholics who do not work out regularly, or at all. The exercises will all be bodyweight, so you can do them from the comfort and convenience of your own home!

I fully understand that the idea of spending 10+ minutes driving each way to the gym to be surrounded by a bunch of confusing equipment and have a bunch of jacked douchebags walking around you with their chests puffed out, isn’t all that enticing to most people. I’ve started this blog to eliminate both of those excuses.

Since everyone has different circumstances, I will give general programming suggestions and it will be up to you to piece it together in a way that works best for your fitness level and schedule. Remember, nothing is set in stone. Go at your own pace, alter/experiment with things, and have some fun with it!

Everyone also has different bodies and injury histories. Due to this, all exercises are boiled down to their 3 most universal Focus Points that apply to everyone. All other details on how to do them vary from person to person, a good rule of thumb beyond the Focus Points is to keep it controlled and pain-free.

The goal is consistency. That is the biggest indicator of success.

I encourage you to approach this as a FUN experiment: An experiment to find an exercise routine that you find enjoyable and thus, will do regularly. You’re in control here. I’m just giving some exercise suggestions for you to f*** around with, and proper technique pointers on said suggestion, so you can do them safely and effectively.

Come at with a sense of playful curiosity rather than self-judgment, and you’ll go far! If you put in the work and find ways to enjoy doing so, the physical results will follow in time! Focus on the process.

Remember: You’re introducing a new healthy habit into your routine. There is NO reason to be hard on yourself!!

So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to one of the most important exercises out there: the squat.

In the first post I suggested doing 10 squats and drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning. How’s that going? Hit me up on Facebook and let me know!

(If you forget, just do it when you first think of it that day!)

The squat is one of the foundational movement patterns we all use daily. It is super effective and safe as a bodyweight exercise; provided you use good form, listen to your body, and go at a proper pace.

They work some of the biggest muscles in your body. The body burns more calories when you have more muscle mass. Put those two facts together and you can see why squats are a major factor in so many people’s weight loss journeys

3 Focus points:           

Knees in line with toes

Heels flat on the ground

Back straight, chest up

Pace: 2 Seconds down, 1 Second up.

To Make It Easier: Place a chair behind you and sit down slowly, careful to keep your back straight, then stand back up. Hold onto a stable object like a table or counter if needed.

To Make It Harder: Add a 2-10 second pause at the bottom of each rep, or every other rep, or the last rep, or every 5th rep (you get the idea). Usually people slouch when they try to own that bottom position for an extended priod of time. Be sure to keep your back STRAIGHT by engaging your core (imagine squeezing out a fart) and keeping your eyes forward. Film yourself for some visual feedback.

Programming Suggestions: 3 sets of 10 is a good starting point (if you’re not there yet, work your way up!) gradually progress to 3 sets of 25 at your own pace. I personally shoot for 5 sets of 25 a day, sometimes with the sets hours apart. You can catch me sneakin sets any time I'm stopped at train tracks or the Ballard Bridge. There's SO MANY opportunities to do them everyday. Just do them, and do them often!

Recommended Listening: Hatebreed “This Is Now”

Raw aggression. Crushing Riffs. Undeniable Groove. Inspiring Lyrics like, “How can I change tomorrow, if I… CANT CHANGE TODAY!?!” all combine to make this my all-time favorite lifting anthem, hands down.

It’s about taking control of your life and is directly applicable to anyone starting on a fitness journey. I recommend it to all my clients (95% of whom have never heard of Hatebreed and look at me like I’m crazy when I just mention the name, haha!)

Next up: The Plank

If you've got any questions/comments/success stories/struggles, feel free to come join the private Down With The Fitness Facebook Group

Take Great Care!

-Matt Koch