Squats: Your Key to Elite-Level Fitness
The typical fitness program is doomed to mediocrity. For proof, just visit any gym and peek in at the fitness classes. You generally don't see paragons of fitness, even among people who have been going for a long time. Why is this so?
The reasons mostly have to do with a failure to elicit the body's adaptive response. Properly done squats solve this problem.
The typical fitness program:
The answer to these problems is a high-intensity compound exercise that requires a combination of strength and balance. Very few exercises fit this description. All of the ones that do are difficult to learn and perform, but the effort can pay off big-time. Roman deadlifts are one such exercise. My favorite, however, is the squat.
The squat has several variations, such as:
We will cover these squats briefly, after covering a few squat tips:
The Not Squat
Leg press machines are not squats. There is no balance involved. Ditto for Smith Machine routines.
The lunge is similar to the squat, and it's a powerful exercise (Arnold used to do these across the White House lawn when he was dating Maria). But we aren't talking about lunges here, and the squat provides additional "work your core" benefits.
Learn proper technique
Improperly done squats give you injuries instead of results, so you need to know what you're doing and pay attention to technique when doing it. Oh, and by the way, properly done squats improve the back and knees rather than wear them out.
All proper squats, when done correctly improve balance and work the core. For all of these, go slowly and exhale when raising your weight and when lowering it. Here's more info on four common variations.
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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