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.
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
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?