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The 4-Week Squat Plan

by Stephanie on March 4, 2016 in Lifestyle, Health and News Articles
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The 4-Week Squat Plan

 

If you only have time for 1 exercise, a lot of fitness experts will tell you to pick the squat. It’s a real multitasker of a move that strengthens the butt, hips, thighs and core muscles in a way that translates into real-life results.

To do a basic squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides or hands on hips. Bend your knees and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then stand back up.

Once you master the basic squat, you can make them even more effective by moving on to more challenging variations. Modifying the squat works muscle fibers in different ways from different angles. That’s why making even slight changes to the movement can fast-track your progress, getting you that tighter, more toned tush faster than you ever thought possible.

So are you ready for a challenge? Then push yourself with this 28-day program. The reward will be that high, round booty you’ve always dreamed about.

Before you attempt this challenge, you should be able to do at least 2 sets of basic squats, 8–15 reps per set, without too much effort.

Keep these things in mind before starting the challenge:

  1. You’ll do a different squat variation each week.
  2. Technique is more important than reps or even progression. Check out the videos and detailed instructions below.
  3. If you find you’re struggling with a particular exercise, that’s OK. You don’t need to progress until you feel you have it under control. Go back to the beginning of that week, and start from the top.
  4. It’s fine to spread out your reps throughout the day. However, if you can’t get to the target number of sets and reps, go back to the beginning of that week and start again.

Once you complete the entire 28 days, do it again! Up the stakes by holding at the point in the exercise where the muscles have to work the hardest (usually at the bottom of the movement) for a second or two.

squat-plan-calendar

 

Barre Squats

  1. To start, step about an arm’s length away from a sturdy, high-backed chair. Hold lightly onto the chair back for support, and stand tall with your feet facing forward. Raise your heels up, and bend your knees so that they track directly over your feet.
  2. Bend your knees, and lower down until you feel tension in your thigh and buttock muscles. Stand back up to the start by gently contracting your buttocks and straightening your knees.
  3. As you do this exercise, stay tall by pulling your ab muscles in toward your spine, lifting your chest and rolling your shoulders back. If you feel any knee pain, stay high and limit the range of motion.

Turned-Out Barre Squats

  1. To start, step about an arm’s length away from a sturdy, high-backed chair. Hold lightly onto the chair back for support and stand tall with feet in a small V, heels together and toes apart. Raise your heels up, touching them together, and position your knees so that they track outward directly over your feet.
  2. Bend your knees a few inches until you feel your buttocks and inner thighs engaging. Return to the start by straightening your knees, gently contracting the buttocks and pulling the inner thighs toward each other.
  3. As you do this exercise, stay tall by pulling your ab muscles in toward your spine, lifting your chest and rolling your shoulders back. If you feel any knee pain, stay high and limit the range of motion.

Sumo Jacks

  1. Hold a moderately heavy dumbbell (3–10 pounds) in the goblet position and stand tall with your feet together, toes forward.
  2. Jump up and out. Land softly, bending your knees and lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pressing through your heels, jump back up to the start.
  3. If this is too challenging at first, you can step your feet wide 1 at a time before moving into the squat. Stay tall with chest lifted and abs engaged throughout.

Tuck Squats

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Coil yourself to prepare for a jump by bending your knees and holding your hands up at chest height.
  2. Powering through your heels, jump up in the air as high as you can. Swing your arms up and overhead to help increase the height you can jump. Land softly, bending your knees to absorb the shock and prepare for the next rep.
  3. If you need to modify, lift up 1 knee at a time in a sort of high skipping motion.

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