Squats help to lose weight, tone up, build mus­cle

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - HEALTH - VIWE NDONGENI

IT’S A new year and we are in the mid­dle of sum­mer, so if one of your res­o­lu­tions is to get in shape, the tim­ing has never been this per­fect.

And if your goals are to lose weight faster, get toned or build your mus­cle faster, then look no fur­ther than squats.

Train­ing in this way is not only good for your core, but those look­ing for a perky bot­tom and toned thighs and legs opt for squats too.

Squats are one of the best work­outs but it’s im­por­tant that you do the ex­er­cise prop­erly.

Romeo Jacques Brand, a per­sonal trainer and fit­ness fa­natic, said in or­der to per­fect your squats you need to learn the basics.

“Keep the up­per body as up­right as pos­si­ble, drop­ping down into a seated po­si­tion. Drop till the thighs are 90 de­grees to the lower ex­trem­i­ties. In­hale as you de­scend and ex­hale as you re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion.”

Sha­heem Laat­toe from Fit Fac­tory Per­son­alised Train­ing said the ben­e­fits of squats are that they are a full-body ex­er­cise be­cause even though you are work­ing out your lower body, you have to en­gage the core as well.

Brand ad­vises peo­ple to al­ways warm up the knees be­fore at­tempt­ing squats. “Never look down when you squat. Al­ways con­cen­trate on cor­rect form be­fore at­tempt­ing the heavy lifts. Never be an ego lifter. ”

Laat­toe also rec­om­mends that peo­ple do squats that will be suit­able for their fit­ness.

Here are the type of squats that Brand rec­om­mends:

• Body­weight squats Con­ven­tional move­ment that re­quires bend­ing of the knees, drop the glutes to the floor and try to stay as erect as pos­si­ble. Hands are nor­mally be­hind the head, this is known as the pris­oner squat. • Ply­o­met­ric squats

Done jump­ing straight up from the floor, jump­ing on to a box or al­ter­nat­ing the legs into a split lunge jump. It im­proves bal­ance and co-or­di­na­tion.

• Static squats

Done against the wall or free stand­ing. Drop down with the up­per legs par­al­lel to the floor. Hold the po­si­tion for 30 to 60 sec­onds. Per­fect for glutes, quadri­ceps and the core.

Laat­toe says the most com­mon squats are:

• Bar­bell squats

Done with a bar­bell on your back or can be held in front of the body, held by the chest. This also a pushtype, com­pound ex­er­cise which pri­mar­ily works your quadri­ceps, but also trains your glutes, ham­strings and calves as well as mus­cles in your lower back.

• Gob­let squats

Done with the dumb­bell held at the chest. It tones the legs and thighs and strength­ens the quads, hip flex­ors, lats, calves and gluteal mus­cles.

• Sump squats

Hold on to a dumb­bell in be­tween your legs. This places more em­pha­sis on the in­ner-thigh ad­duc­tors, which move your legs in to­ward your body, and glutes.

Squats are one of the best work­outs but must be done prop­erly.

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