3 Bodyweight Exercises that Launch Your Squats
It’s leg day! And guess what’s on the menu for today’s lower body workout? Squats! Prepare your body for action with these essential bodyweight exercises to increase your weight or reps while keeping your body injury-free in the process.
It’s important to remember that lifting heavy without proper physical preparation has its consequences. If your muscles and joints lack physical preparation, squatting with external weight can place tremendous strain on your lower back and knees.
So, if you want to squat heavy without straining your joints, try your hand at these Gymnastic Strength TrainingTM tips:
Bulletproof Your Hamstrings: The Natural Leg Curl
While the barbell squat is traditionally known as a glute and quad developer, don’t forget the importance of having well-developed (and healthy) hamstrings. The simple fact is that any compound lower body exercise requires all your leg muscles to work synergistically.
The natural leg curl, a Foundation series favorite, is one of those seemingly simple exercises that will challenge you in new ways.
GymnasticBodies founder Coach Christopher Sommer has discovered in his experiences with his former Junior national team athletes, lower body power is strongly correlated with the strength of your hamstrings and lower back. Which makes this leg day essential, a must keep in your weekly training routine.
The ultimate glute and hamstring developer can be found right here in the GB Foundation Series.
Your Upper Body Support: The Pull-up
We know that you are thinking! What are pull-ups doing in this mix? Well, as you may already know, the pull-up is one of the best exercises to develop your lats and upper back.
Having a strong and well-developed back will help stabilize your torso as you squat — which is especially helpful when you’re balancing a heavy bar on your shoulders.
Before You Add Weight: Master Single Leg Squats, a.k.a. Pistol Squats
Ok! Who are we to tell you what you can or can’t do? What we can do however is help improve your squat while reducing your chances of getting injured. And all you have to do is master this one exercise first.
The single leg squat is the ultimate gymnastic leg exercise. Mastering this strength and mobility combo guarantees that your hips, knees, ankles, and lower back are prepared for anything you have to throw at them.
If this movement scares the stability out of your knees, then how would you expect them to feel when you load them up heavy? Without adequate hip mobility, adding heavy weight to your traditional squats will only force imbalanced muscles even further out of balance.
Master the basics of bodyweight training first to take your weighted squat to the next level.
Check out the online Foundation Courses for a healthy and balanced body that will sustain you, and propel you into greatness – for all of the adventures ahead. Developing the best and most sustainable GymnasticBodies squat means working the basics and prepping your joints and muscles for added weight and increased strength (aka an unstoppable you) in the future.