Hello, hello everyone!! I hope that your first week went great, and I’m sure that it did.  Even if it wasn’t your best effort, the great news is that it’s a whole new week, and you get to crush your goals.  Woo hoo!

This week I want to do a little myth busting.  There’s this nasty little myth that continues to circulate that weight lifting will make you bulky.  Who wants to be bulky, right?  Here’s the spectacular news….that’s a bunch of malarkey.  Weight lifting will not make you large or bulky.  What it will do is create a strong, shapely body that is powerful and functional.  So where did this myth originate?  Maybe it was in the 1980s and 1990s when professional bodybuilders, both male and female, started coming to the stage with freakishly huge muscles.  But, I’m sure you already know that anabolic steroids were to thank for those enormous, hulk-like muscles.  It’s just not possible for women, with a fraction of the testosterone that men have, to create big, bulky muscles by lifting weights.  Believe me, I have spent YEARS trying to gain muscle mass by lifting as heavy as I safely can, and I still haven’t gained the lean muscle mass that I desire.  (Perhaps my love of sweets has something to do with that as well.)  🙂  So, please, don’t be frightened of lifting as heavy as you can to complete 8 to 12 reps of an exercise with the last two to three reps being really difficult.  You will love the way you look!  If you have any questions about this, find me at the Bodylines studio and please, please ask!  I love to talk weight training!

So, what’s the exercise for this week?  It’s the fabulous, functional squat!  Who doesn’t love the squat?  It’s a compound exercise that works the legs and glutes and, when done properly, leaves us feeling the after-effects for a couple of days.  The best part is that you have many options, and here are a few:

 

Bodyweight squat:
*Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, with your hips stacked over your knees and your knees stacked over your ankles.

*Engage your core and roll your shoulders back and down so that your shoulder blades are gliding down your back.  Don’t allow your shoulders to become earrings!

*Imagine that there is a chair behind you that you plan to sit in, and begin to sit back sending your hips behind you.  Make sure that your knees do not go forward of your toes.  Keep your chest up and your gaze forward so that you’re not collapsing your chest down toward your knees.

*Go to the depth that works for you.  For some people, going to 90 degrees at the knee joint is plenty, while for others, a deeper squat is possible.

*From your deepest point in your squat, engage the glutes and come back up to the starting position.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

Dumbbell Squat:
Follow the above instructions while holding dumbbells in your hands.  You can hold the dumbbells by your side.

 

Barbell Squat:
Keep perfect form and squat with a weighted barbell resting across the shoulders and meaty part of your upper back.

 

Pop Squat:
Maybe you want a cardio burst along with your squat.  Try popping up from the low position to jump into the air.  Make sure to land softly and return to the deepest part of the squat, and then repeat the pop up.  This will definitely increase your heart rate!

If you want more variations of the squat, such as the step out squat, the sumo squat, and many others, come to a total body training class and have some fun with us!!