There are those out there that feel that heavy squats are not only the cornerstone of any true leg workout but also that it is a necessity for any workout. Unfortunately, while there may be great benefits to squats, there are those of us that, for one reason or another, cannot do them. More alternatives to squats here.
So what are we to do?
Well, you could do the machines. There are many machines that simulate the same range of motion that a squat has, however, these machines are awkward to use and sometimes very difficult to get in and out of. 10 DESK EXERCISES.
There must be some way that people with physical limitations can still reap the rewards that people with a full range of motion get. Well, there is a balance ball (aka the Swiss ball) squats.
Balance balls are the grey, red, or blue beach-ball-looking-things that you largely ignore at the gym. They come in a variety of sizes, which isn’t so important for this exercise, but which is important for other exercises based on your height.
Using this simple piece of equipment, even those that have not been able to do squats in the past can do the same leg strengthening workout that they may have never been able to do in the past. BOXING TRAINING- CARDIO KICKBOXING PROGRAMS.
Before we go over form: is this exercise for you?
The following limitations are good signs that you are better off doing balance ball squats than the more traditional free weight squats: people new to working out, lower back pain, neck pain (hypertension), knee pain, and hip pain. If you fall into any of these categories, you will do best, to begin with, balance ball squats, and try to work your way up to free weights.
Balance Ball Squats
– Find some space
To do this exercise, you should find an open wall space or a flat-sided pillar by which to put the ball.
-Getting into position
Hold the ball against the wall and turn, placing your back on the ball at the midpoint. You can move the ball up or down depending on how comfortable the ball feels on different parts of your back.
– Set your feet
Move your feet away from the ball so that they are out past your body. Keeping your feet a little in front of you will help you to prevent your knees from going over your toes. This type of positioning will put the greatest emphasis on the tops of your legs and secondary emphasis on your hamstrings and calves. WAYS TO EXERCISE AT HOME THAT WON’T STRAIN YOUR TIME OR WALLET.
Putting your feet shoulder-width apart will evenly distribute the overall emphasis on your quads. Spreading your feet further apart will put great emphasis on your inner thighs. While moving your feet closer together will put more emphasis on your outer thighs.
– Lowering yourself
The distance that you are able to squat down is largely dependent on any physical limitations that you might have, but the further that you can get to your legs being parallel to the ground, the better. Don’t worry about going deeper than parallel; the extra emphasis on your gluts can actually be much harder on your knees when returning to your starting position.
As far as where to keep your hands, it is kind of up to you. It doesn’t really matter whether you put your hands on your hips, out in front of you (this adds balance) or on your head. If you need a little assistance, it is okay to keep your hands on your knees, but it should only be done as a last resort. HOW TO ADD SIMPLE EXERCISES TO YOUR DAILY LIFE (YOU HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF THESE BEFORE).
– Standing and repeating
When standing back up from your squat, make sure that you don’t lock your knees, this puts far too much pressure on your joints, and by keeping a slight bend in your legs, you will keep more emphasis on your quads. Repeat as many times as you can manage up to about 20. If you can do 20 reps, you can start adding weight like holding a medicine ball to your chest or a dumbbell in each hand.
Learning to perform the balance ball squat properly can be very important, especially if you have a limited range of motion. Never let your limitations lead you to ignore a muscle group, especially one as vitally important as your legs. Being in the gym in the first place is a sign that you are looking to do the best you can with your body; don’t take it for granted.