Squat Challenge – Are You Up For It?!

by lydia on April 3, 2012

So this monthly challenge thing is going over quite well. I too am enjoying the benefits of daily accountability to tackle habits that benefit my health. We just wrapped up the dry brushing challenge, and the month prior the oil pulling challenge. I plan to keep both up, so here’s hoping that this challenge will boost this habit into a daily one or at least a bit more regularly than I have been lately. It’s no secret that I love my squats. I’ve been squatting regularly for the past couple years with great results. When I do it consistently, my booty thanks me by looking mighty fine. Not to mention, I notice my agility and strength is quite awesome as well. Anaerobic exercise is really where it’s at in my opinion, and squats are great because no equipment is necessary. Plus, you can do them any time, any where. Even a few go a long way!

The Squat Challenge

So, this month’s challenge is a bit different from the last two. It’s a SQUAT CHALLENGE. This month we are gonna work it, and get our bodies fit for the impending warmer months where will be donning swim suits and showing off what we’ve got. (like it or not!) Squats are an amazing exercise that can really boost your overall health in many ways. Using the major muscles in your legs along with your glutes, squats help to strengthen these core muscles including your lower back and calves. I have found my core strength and stability to improve as well as my posture by doing squats over the years.

What is a Squat?

In strength training, the squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads (vastus lateralus medialis and intermedius), hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the legs and buttocks, as well as developing core strength. Isometrically, the lower back, the upper back, the abdominals, the trunk muscles, the costal muscles, and the shoulders and arms are all essential to the exercise and thus are trained when squatting with proper form. (Wikipedia)


How to Squat

Performing a squat properly is important. Check out the links below to learn how…………..

Also read this post How To: Proper Squat Technique

And this one; How to Squat Properly


Why Will Squats Benefit Your Health?

The beautiful thing about squats is they are more than just a way to exercise, they are foundational to your overall strength in so many ways. Not only that but they are fundamental to your ability to function well in daily life. No joke. This move will grant you authentic and permanent strength, not just tone up your fanny so it looks good in a swim suit. (which is a nice side perk by the way.) What do you do when you have to lift something heavy off the ground? Do you bend over by hinging at the waist and strain on the way back up? (possibly injuring yourself along the way) Or, do you squat down and use those core muscles to power you back up with the heavy item? The second approach spares your lower back and supports it by using all those major muscles below the belt to assist you. Squats empower you to stand tall and carry confidence that you never knew you had. Squats do not isolate one muscle over others, squats encorporate many muscles, this is a more functional realistic approach to exercise. Strengthening your lower half through squats is a wise idea considering your legs carry you around all day. They are your core support, squatting gives you a powerful base to carry you through life. Have a strong base entitles you to many things in life. Having the confidence that comes with that, is priceless.

How To Do This Challenge?

I am gonna make this very easy for you. Squat every day. Increase the reps. Add weight if you want. Challenge yourself.

We are all at a different place in life. Some of you may have never squatted before, and some of you already do it regularly.

Beginners, try this approach – take the time before each meal and do at least 3o squats. Do 3 rounds of 10 with a 30-60 second rest in between if you need to. By the end of each day you will have completed almost 100 squats – and that’s something to be proud of. If that is too much, just start with 10 before meals and work your way up to 30. Never feel bad about where you need to begin – we all had to and have to start somewhere.

Intermediates – Squat for up to 15 minutes in rounds of 30 seconds with a 60 second rest in between.

Advanced – Squat with weights – whatever amount you are ready for. Less reps with weights is best. Start with a weight that you can do 3 sets of 10 reps. with it still being a bit of a challenge but no so much that your tear your muscles apart and are sore for days and days. I would not recommend squatting with weight every day – keep it to every other at least. Or try with weight once a week.

If you can’t commit to any length of time and you just want to ‘squeeze’ some squats in to your routine – squat before meals, but make it challenging for you. Squat for a whole minute and see how many reps you can get in. If that isn’t challenging enough – do 3 rounds of 1 minute of air squats for reps.

Of course, all of the above is simply a suggestion, the idea is to make this a habit that you will carry with you after this month is over. Please do not over do it. If you need to take a day off to rest up your sore muscles please do so. If you stick to air squats spread out throughout the day before meals this will be very easy to do and gentle on your body overall, but still with great results. Find a plan that works for you and go with it! By the end of this month, you may find you fit quite nicely in a new pair of super sexy jeans! Even if you don’t, you will FEEL so amazing and your body will have grown stronger for taking the challenge. I believe it and know it based on my own personal experience!

Over the course of the month, I’ll be posting tips and additional work out ideas, different types of squats and much more. So stay tuned, go ahead and bookmark or subscribe to this post so you can keep coming back. Also, join Divine Health on facebook and I will post daily reminders and tips as well each day.  As this is a challenge it would be fitting to reward you with a prize to look forward to, though that is NOT the main objective of this challenge. Every time you squat come back to the post and comment that you did. At the end of the month I will choose a random winner – for now the prize will remain a secret. I want you to focus on the habit you are forming, not the prize! So, what do you say? Are you up for this squat challenge? I know I can’t wait!

Let the challenge commence – I’ll announce a winner May 3rd!

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