Exercise Tips: Squats & Lunges

Squats and lunges are two great exercises that build strength, tone and look. These exercises are great because you don’t need any exercise equipment. We’ve talked about frugal workouts and saving money, so this is another great way to build muscle, tone up and save cash at the same time.

Squats

Let’s talk about squats. This is an exercise that works, shapes and tones the muscles around your hips, abdomen, glutes, and legs. You get a lot of results for one simple workout. I know a lot of people who don’t like squats because they feel like it makes them look stupid. I worry less about what I look while doing them than I do how I look after.

How to Do A Squat

  • Stand straight with your feet a little wider than your shoulder width apart; point your toes slightly outwards
  • Keep your back straight – stick out your and your butt
  • Bend your hips and knees slowly, lean forward a bit, but as you descend lean back as though you were going to be sitting down in a chair
  • You keep descending until your thighs are parallel on the floor; if you’ve never done the squats before you can use your Swiss ball between you and the wall for support and form
  • As you rise, keep your torso at the same angle to the floor and don’t let your knees come together as you push up
  • Return to starting position
  • Wash, Rinse, Repeat
  • If you want to add resistance to your exercise, put a can of vegetables in each hand or a dumbbell in each hand

Lunges

I like lunges, even if they make my thighs and calves burn. That burn is a positive burn and it keeps my legs in great shape. You need to keep in mind, again that it is form, form, form. So if you’ve never seen a lunge before, take the time to pay attention to what you need to do.

How to Do a Lunge

  • Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Take a long step forward, but keep your torso straight
  • Your trailing foot remains at start and the leg that you took the step forward with begins to bend slowly and you can bend the rear leg slowly at the same time
  • Now here’s the tricky part, as you bend your leading leg, your knee will go forward but it should never go past your toes and your trailing leg will bend, but do not let it go all the way to ground
  • Use the balls of your feet for balance and to hold your weight
  • Hold the position for a moment and then rise slowly and step back in one fluid motion
  • You can step back or bring the trailing leg forward, then stride forward – these are called walking lunges
  • As with the squats earlier – you can add resistance to this by holding cans in each hand or dumbbells in each hand

Do you use lunges and squats in your regular routine?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.

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