WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: FOUR MINUTE SQUAT CHALLENGE

I love quick and effective workouts. Not every workout that you do has to be an intense hour-long session. It took me a long time to break out of the all-or-nothing mindset. I used to think if I didn't have the time for a full-blown workout, I wouldn't bother with one at all. The truth is that a 15 minute workout that you actually do is always 100% better than the hour workout you didn't do. 

Today's squat challenge explores eight different squat variations. It is a fun way to get in a lower body workout and possibly try some new moves. If you are a runner, this is great workout to do after you finish your run to squeeze in some quick strength training. 

Can you find four minutes in your day for this fun squat challenge? You will perform this squat circuit Tabata-style, which means you will do work for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds for four minutes. If you want to make it more challenging, rest for one minute after each four minute circuit and repeat until your Glutes are on fire!

This circuit incorporates eight squat variations. 

1. Traditional Chair Squat

Push your hips back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor (like you are sitting back in a chair) or as low as your flexibility allows. In the low position, engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push up to standing in an explosive movement. Return to center, pushing hips back and repeat for 20 seconds. Take a deep breath in as your lower to the squat and breathe out as you return to standing. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

2. Wall Squat

Stand against a wall and lower your body to a squat position so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight, your core engaged and your arms pressed into the wall. Do not rest your hands on your knees or lean forward. Hold in an isometric low position for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

3. Curtsey Squat (Right Side)

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Cross right leg behind the body and to the left. Bend left knee 90 degrees, or as low your flexibility will allow, toes pointing forward, then return to starting position. Repeat for 20 seconds on one side. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

4. Curtsey Squat (Left Side)

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Cross left leg behind the body and to the right. Bend right knee 90 degrees, or as low your flexibility will allow, toes pointing forward, then return to starting position. Repeat for 20 seconds on one side. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

5. Lateral Squat (Right Side)

While facing forward, with toes pointing straight ahead, take a wide step out to your right side. With your hips back, bend your right knee, while straightening your left leg. With your back straight, hing at your hips to touch the floor with both hands on either side of your foot. Do not allow your knee to move forward beyond your toe. Be sure to keep your torso and both feet facing forward. Repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

6. Lateral Squat (Left Side)

While facing forward, with toes pointing straight ahead, take a wide step out to your left side. With your hips back, bend your left knee, while straightening your right leg. With your back straight, hing at your hips to touch the floor with both hands on either side of your foot. Do not allow your knee to move forward beyond your toes. Be sure to keep your torso and both feet facing forward. Repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

7. Sumo Squat

With your legs in a wide stance and toes pointing out, push your hips back and lower yourself into a sumo squat. Do not allow your toes to move beyond your toes. Repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

8. Sumo Squat (Pulse)

With your legs in a wide stance and toes pointing out, push your hips back and lower yourself into a sumo squat. Do not allow your toes to move beyond your toes. Stay in the low position and pulse the reps without returning to standing for 20 seconds. Rest for one minute before repeating the circuit.

Give it a shot and let me know how you feel!

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