The Best Fitness Move for Any Mom on the Go

Between hauling kids and groceries, picking up after almost everyone in the household and all the million other things moms do, there’s often not much time to focus on fitness. Of course if you can find enough time to do some physical exercise then jump at the chance. From yoga to Tennis Lessons, anything will help. While many of these activities may give our upper-bodies – or at least our biceps – a boost, but what about the rest? There’s one fitness move that provides advantages for the core, balance, hips thighs and buttocks: squats. Read on to find out more about the benefits of squats and how you can easily do them wherever you are and however busy your schedule is.

Benefits of Squats

The simple squat can be done almost anywhere, any time. It doesn’t need any special equipment, and this one little exercise works 200 different muscles. It’s also a great low-impact cardio move. From descent to ascent, the movement is designed to activate the three largest muscle groups in the right order and improve flexibility in the knee, hip and ankle joints.

This targeted fitness move is so effective, you don’t have to do many to get results in a very short time. Because it’s a weight-bearing exercise, meaning you’re using your own body weight as leverage, it gives you some of the benefits of weight-training. Weight-training is one of the most beneficial workouts, especially as we get older. It helps retain lean muscle mass and strengthens bones to ward off osteoporosis. Squats can help you do the same thing without stepping into a gym.

Form is Everything

You may know squats from your fitness video or class, but did you realize how much variety and benefit comes from this one simple move when it’s done right? There are three components to the perfect squat, and all variations start from there:

Center of gravity line (CoGL) – this is the optimal starting position to ensure proper alignment and balance from start to finish. Your knees should never extend beyond your toes at any point during execution, and your back should remain straight, with your head up and face forward.

Hip flexion – refers to the hinge function of the hips and their placement at each point of the movement. With the CoGL in mind, most of the bend should be at the hip, without the pressure on the knees that causes so many problems. To get it done properly, push your bottom back as you bend, using the hip flexion, as if your trying to sit down.

Proper heel pressure – all of the weight should be in your heels, not on the balls of your feet. With the proper heel pressure and weight distribution, your balance will be better, and you’ll really feel the burn in the places that need it the most.

Squat Variations

The basic squat is just descent/ascent, with arms straight out in front of you. It only takes 30 reps, 4 – 5 days a week, and you can go on about your day. However, if you want to avoid the plateau effect or just change things up once in a while, you can try some variations.

  • instead of just holding your arms straight out in front, hold some weights, either light dumbbells or a disc
  • try placing your hands behind your head, elbows straight out to the side; make sure to retain your form and balance
  • on the descent, slide one leg out to the side, toe pointed; switch legs with each rep

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