Squat Challenge for Weight Loss
A proper workout session is not complete without squats and there is a reason for this, in fact so many reasons.
Squatting is a very effective form of exercise that works on all muscles in your body at once.
It is no wonder people take on the 30-day squat challenge.
Putting your mind on something means you are a step closer to achieving it, and you can’t just focus on something if you don’t have a target, the zeal, or commitment, this theory applies to the 30-day squat challenge.
You might proceed to ask “does the 30-day squat challenge work?”
The truth is this challenge has been all over the Internet till date and everyone who has tried it has something to say about it.
The 30-day squat challenge is undoubtedly one of the best squat challenges out there.
Probably you are part of the 50%, who hasn’t tried the 30 days squat challenge yet because you keep asking if it works.
This piece is geared towards enlightening you on how effective the 30-day squat challenge can be especially for weight loss if you remain committed like it was stated earlier.
You will get a piece of in-depth knowledge on how to do the squatting right, and of course many didn’t know before now that there are different types of squat, you will get to know them here and how to do them right.
Squatting also has risks and at the same time it has benefits that far outweigh the risks, you will know this when you follow this guide judiciously.
A squat is the king of weight loss.
It effectively helps to shed fat and build functional muscles, give you an amazing body look, increase strength and stability.
Squatting isn’t just a lower body exercise.
Squat variations target different muscles in the body including the upper body muscles that is why it’s termed “the king of exercise”.
Squats vary according to equipment, and intensity. It’s the intensity that makes squatting an excellent weight loss exercise.
Now, you have a motivation which is to lose weight, getting on the 30-day squat challenge is next.
With this, you’ll be more focused because you have a clear and defined goal to work towards.
The first thing to do now is to learn how to squat right, and the pointers below should be your ultimate guide.
You need to learn how to squat properly to avoid missing out on the benefits of your squat challenge.
Remember it’s not about how many you can do, but the quality of the few you do that matters.
Here is how to do it right.
- Set up position – the first position is to stand tall/straight with your back, chest up and proud, position your feet slightly wider than your hips. Point your toes outward slightly (5-20°), keep your head high and straight. You can look for a particular spot on the wall and focus on it (endeavor not to shift your focus from that spot either by looking down or up).
- Prepare – extend your arm, keeping it straight in front of you. You can also choose to bend your elbows. Keep your hands sideways or clasp your fingers, but try not to keep it on your thighs or legs, it’s wrong. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed as you do this.
- Start squatting – Have an imaginary view as though you’re about to sit down on an invisible chair placed behind you and then go down.
Don’t bend from your knees, rather “sit back” moving your butt backward, and your knees forward (not inward), the knee caps should be in the same direction with your toes.
Don’t hunch your back, maintain the balance with your arms in front of you, if for any reason you keep them below your knees while you bend that means your back is in a rounded position, and that is not the right position.
Keep your heels firm on the floor. Avoid lifting your toes, your weight should be on your heels and not your toes.
Go down as deep as you can till your hip joints go lower than your knees, with your thighs parallel to the floor.
Remain in this position for approximately 3 seconds at least.
- Get back up – breathe out, break the parallel with the floor and get back up slowly, maintaining the same position of your head, arms, and legs.
- Repeat – breathe in and repeat the steps from the start-up position.
Try not to be fast, maintain your slow pace because you’re still at the learning stage, there is no need to rush at this stage.
This is the basic every beginner should know, make sure you explore the movement.
The squats work on your abs, lower back, thighs, calves, arms, cardiac muscles, leg muscles, all at the same time.
Be patient and observant enough to notice what feels different when the position of any part of your body like the feet or arms change and be open-minded to corrections.
Always observe safety measures and good form when squatting for weight loss.
Now that you can do the basic squat, you should consider adding variations to mix up.
Squatting variations can be done with different weight-lift equipment such as – kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, smith machines, and plates.
Advancing to the next level of squatting after you must have learned the basics is always the target in the 30-day squat challenge because you are now eligible to try out the squatting variations for effective weight loss results.
Your 30-day squat challenge should include these different types of squats, you can also add it to your full body exercise routine, but the most important thing here is getting them right.
Sometimes, we tend to practice the wrong steps in the different types of squats and it ends up giving us a bad form.
That should be a thing of the past now, with this step-by-step guide in getting the squats right.
The pulse squat is very effective for weight loss and here is how to do it right.
Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, your toes pointing outward, chest out, with your arms in front of you.
Breathe in while you squat down and push your hips out, remember to go lower than your knees and keep your heels and toes balanced.
Now, you are bent below your knees, instead of getting up gradually you will pause in that position (while you count to 10), then you exhale and get up gradually.
You can repeat this process for approximately 8 minutes during your squatting challenge each day to shed fat.
It also targets your quads, hip flexors, core, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and calves.
This type contains the fundamental movements to help you complete the standard squat and transition to more difficult variations or lifts.
Stand straight with your feet wider from your hips, toes slightly out. Holding a kettlebell as a heavy goblet on your hands, put it up to your chest.
Using your hips and flat back, sink your weight into your heels and bend the knees into a squat.
Hold onto this position for 3 seconds, and drive back up through your heels.
The goblet squat builds your muscles in the right places.
It keeps you balanced and you can increase the reps as you advance in the explosive squat.
Keep your head focused in one direction, pinch your shoulders back, chest out, legs a little wider than the hip-width, with your arms straight in front of you.
Inhale while you squat down, put your hips out, and maintain the body weight on your heels.
With your knees and toes in the right position (outward).
Now as you get up from that position, propel your body to a jumping position while you are halfway up.
Lower your hands to the sides of your hips for momentum and jump.
Try not to jump too high so you can land softly with your feet, move your hands to the front and repeat the process.
It can be done for approximately 6 minutes and it works on the neck muscles too.
This squat is unique in its way. It doesn’t only work on the lower body, it improves posture and strengthens the core and spine.
Stand tall, chest up, your feet hip-width apart, head focused.
This time, put your hands behind your head, while you squat as low as you can.
Keep your knees tracking over your toes, sit back with your hips out.
Stand up gradually through your heels, while you keep repeating it.
It activates the anterior chain of the body, you need to do it properly for best results.
Stand directly below a barbell in a rack, with your feet parallel to each other.
Ensure that the barbell rests on your collarbone and gently press against your throat.
With your palms up, and elbows outward, grab the barbell and make sure it’s wider than shoulder-width apart.
Unrack the bar and take a step backward, with your feet directly under your shoulder-width apart.
Lower your hips into a squat, chest up, knees and toes outward. Get up slowly through your heels and repeat.
Barbell back squats
This type of squat distributes weight to the posterior chain without over stressing the lower back.
While standing underneath the barbell, duck your head and push your shoulders against it, also squeeze your shoulders in a muscular way for the bar to rest on.
Grip the bar firmly with your hands shoulder-width apart, then you step forward with it.
Spread your feet to be a bit wider than the shoulder-width. Chest out, heads focused, with the barbell on your shoulders comfortably lying on the trapezius muscles.
It is also done in a squat form, so you will have to lower your body into a squat slowly and thrust your weight back up while you keep doing it for at least 7 minutes.
It helps in the regulation of your movement while shedding fat and building muscles at the same time.
Stand tall, with your feet parallel to each other. Put a looped resistance band around your thighs, hands in front of you and palms in.
Keep your chest and back flat as you lower your heels into a squat.
The band pulls your knees in while your muscles counteract the movement.
Get back up and keep repeating the banded squats for like 5 minutes.
This is a very effective form of squat.
Stand straight with your feet wider apart, shoulders relaxed, and chest forward.
Put your hands together with your elbows slightly bent.
While doing that, squat down pushing your hips out, knees and toes forward.
Hold this position for 3 seconds and get back to your feet. Keep repeating this process.
Single leg (pistol) squat
This type requires strength and balance. You can use various weight props for stability.
Lift your left leg in front of you, using a bench for assistance is a good one.
Squat down with your right leg, and it is this unassisted leg that is sometimes called the pistol squat.
Try to maintain the weight on your heel. Put your two legs back together and repeat.
Squat jump is done while moving forward and backward, it requires enough energy which can help you burn fat.
Stand straight with your feet parallel to each other, shoulders pinched backward, hands together with your elbows bent.
Breathe in while you squat down, with your thighs parallel to the ground, toes, and knees firm.
Get up slowly from the pose, with your legs still in the same position, jump forward and backward and get down to squatting again.
Keep doing this for like 5 minutes.
Now, you know the different types of squats or squatting variations you can incorporate into your 30-day squat challenge, endeavor to do them correctly for a good form and excellent results.
Risks Involved in Squatting
Just like it was noted earlier, squatting like every other form of exercise has some risks or dangers associated with it.
The dangers involved in squatting are typically rooted in lifting weights that are too heavy when you haven’t trained to that level yet.
Some of the risk that you need to be aware of include:
Note that this is not the fault of the exercise itself but how it was done. Squatting can affect your knee joints if you keep moving them in and out without controlling it to remain outwards.
Heavyweight lifters are also prone to knee pain because they always perform the clean and jerk movement that makes the knee susceptible to stress and pain
It has two types; acute and delayed soreness.
Acute occurs immediately after each workout session due to the buildup of lactic acid, while delayed soreness can occur 4 days after the exercise.
Do not be surprised if your thigh muscles feel sore the day after you squat, it is normal and will get better in two to three days.
The muscle, joints, supporting ligaments and tendons respond slowly to constant movements/heavyweight lifting.
Its slow response and your constant movements can lead to muscle soreness/joint pain. Inadequate rest between workout sessions has a high chance of increasing the sore level
Excessive squatting can lead to injuries that will strain your muscles and ligaments, causing overstretched ligaments known as sprain and strain.
Common errors we make while squatting like keeping the legs too narrow or wide in distance, moving the weight props backward instead of forward, bending too low below the knees can result to different types of injuries in the body like lower back or neck injuries.
All of these can be avoided by squatting properly in the right directions.
If the barbell rolls back on your shoulders, it will hurt and burden your shoulders.
Avoid padding or using anything that will come between your shoulders and the barbell, it will only cause more pain and strain to your shoulders instead of subsiding it, fix the bar firmly on your shoulders.
You need to also avoid squatting in a rounded position with your back, you’re only hurting your shoulders if you keep doing that.
When there is an imbalance in the intensity of weight training sessions, there will be opposition by the different muscular groups in the body.
For example, if you overwork the quadriceps muscle and put less effort on the hamstrings, you’re only causing a muscular imbalance in your body which can lead to a deformity in shape and less weight loss results.
The benefits result in how to outweigh the risks. Squats are a fantastic form of exercise that can improve your life, it’s the best way to tone your body naturally.
The 30-day Squat challenge results in overall well being including your mental health. Squatting has a large number of benefits that comes with it, some of which includes:
Increasing the entire body muscles and strength
Squats improve your body muscles immensely and that is no small benefit at all.
Digging deep down while squatting strengthens so many muscles in the body and maintain stability.
It promotes this by creating an anabolic environment in the body system. It engages the hip, ankle, and knee joints all at the same time which makes them stronger.
Squatting right will make your body produce testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) that helps in increasing muscle mass and building tissues.
The muscles also regulate insulin, lipid metabolism, and glucose that plays a big role in preventing diabetes and obesity.
Burning calories and fat
Like it was discussed in the previous benefit, squats build muscles, and more muscle mass in the body automatically means fat burning.
This benefit is worth listing because squat is a more efficient way to burn fat and leads you on to attain your body weight goals.
For every pound of muscle you gain, your body loses 35-50 calories, this is very intense and effective of course.
If you don’t have calories in your body, it will turn to burn away excess fat from your body.
If you are squatting to gain muscles while you burn fats and calories, you will achieve results by the end of the 30-day squat challenge, as long as you maintain calorie deficiency.
It improves circulation
The circulatory system in the body relies so much on bodily movement to function effectively, that is why different forms of exercise are recommended especially squatting.
It’s a preventive step that keeps the doctor away.
Sometimes you might experience tingling, dead leg and numbness, it is caused by poor circulation in the body system.
Squats can strengthen your heart, reduce blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol. It also reduces the chances of heart disease or attack and stroke.
Poor circulation is the main cause of cellulite accumulation and you can reduce it by doing many reps of squat per day.
It improves blood circulation to a very high extent in the body system and it’s very important for a healthy living.
Squats improve flexibility
Ligaments, tendons, and muscles tend to become less elastic as we age, slowing down the process with exercise isn’t a bad idea.
Flexibility is very important in preventing injuries because tight muscles cause more injuries.
Engaging in regular squats will make you limber up and get more flexible because it contains variation movements like stretching the legs, arms, bending and the rest of them. Flexibility is vital for improved well being.
With squats, you can raise your heads high while walking like a supermodel because you earned it for yourself.
Improving your upper and lower body posture is the goal and squats can help you do that effectively in a good form.
During exercise, you’ll be aware of the importance and it will help you in maintaining good postures in your daily activities and with the time you will get accustomed to it.
It improves core stability
The core is the most important group of muscles, bones, and joints in the body that connects the upper body to the lower body.
Making use of a functional movement like squats will go a long way in building a stable and strong core because we engage the core constantly in our everyday life activities.
Core stability will also make you get rid of fatigue, while you become more efficient in performing daily duties.
Maintains balance and mobility
Strong leg bones and leg joints are very necessary especially at old age for mobility.
The squat workout will help stabilize the muscles that give you proper balance.
Squatting will also keep the neurons in your body active to prevent falls. Maintaining healthy joints, abs, legs, and muscles are essential for balance and stability.
You can do them anywhere
This is one benefit that far outweighs other forms of exercise.
Using equipment and a specific cloth isn’t mandatory at all times for squatting, this means it can be done anywhere and at any time.
You have no excuse whatsoever not to fit 3-15 minutes of squatting into your schedule each day.
You can do it while taking a break at work, doing laundry, making dinner, and while gardening. Squatting can be fun you know.
The 30-day squat challenge
With the 30-day squat challenge, you can transition from doing 50 squats a day to 250 squats a day!
It only takes commitment and zeal to achieve the set goal. You’ll see the results of your workout after the challenge period must have elapsed.
Here is a template of a 30-day squat challenge that you can follow. This challenge can be followed by anyone.
Day 1 – 50
Day 2 – 55
Day 3 – 60
Day 4 – Rest
Day 5 – 70
Day 6 – 75
Day 7 – 80
Day 8 – Rest
Day 9 – 100
Day 10 – 105
Day 11 – 110
Day 12 – Rest
Day 13 – 130
Day 14 – 135
Day 15 – 140
Day 16 – Rest
Day 17 – 150
Day 18 – 155
Day 19 – 160
Day 20 – Rest
Day 21 – 180
Day 22 – 185
Day 23 – 190
Day 24 – Rest
Day 25 – 220
Day 26 – 225
Day 27 – 230
Day 28 – Rest.
Day 29 – 240
Day 30 – 250.
Squatting is a very effective way of losing weight and building strong muscles, the upside of squats are too many which makes it outshine the downsides that can only occur if you don’t follow this guide properly, and watch your movements closely.
The 30-day squat challenge is a sure gateway to burn calories and fat, for good body looks and a healthy lifestyle.
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