Squat stance? Huh? The way you place your feet during a squat (and a deadlift) can totally change the muscles worked.
You are probably most familiar with a standard stance, with your feet about shoulder width apart. This a great stance to take (if you have good form) but by changing the distance between your feet, you can mix up your workout routine even more, that way you make sure to hit all the muscles in your legs.
So, what are the three stances I use with my clients? Keep reading to learn!
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putting it all together:
So now that you know the different types of squat stances, it's time to put them into practice into your own workout routine.
If you want to take the guess work out of when to incorporate these squat variations, click the button below to check out workout programs that actually help you progress through harder movements over time. After clicking, you'll see why a tried a true workout plan will help you achieve your fitness goals!
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Are you new to exercise?
this is a "functional movement"
All the exercises I explain in my exercise library are what trainers like to call "functional movements". This means that they require a whole muscle GROUP to be activated, rather than just isolating one muscle. These exercises tend to get your heart rate up more, and they help to burn more fat and build more muscle!
I use these functional movements as the primary exercises in my workout plans. If you want a workout plan that is quick, effective and works well at building your curves and confidence, then make sure to check my workout plans out! There's routines for every schedule, and you will never get bored from doing the same thing each week!
If you want the workouts PLUS in depth coaching for other areas of your life like confidence, healthy habit creation, goal setting and mindset, make sure to check our my confidence coaching that includes the workout plans along with everything else!
here's how you set up your good morning:
First, if you have never performed this exercise before, take a second to watch the video above. When it comes time to do it for the first time, PLEASE try it without any weight. Alright, here we go!
What I would like you to do is stand with your heels towards a wall, about a foot away from it. With your hands folded on your chest, hinge your hips back in space and try to touch the wall with your butt. It's farther back than you think right? This hinging movement is the basis of the good morning.
Did you keep a gentle bend in your knees? If so, awesome! Proceed on to the next step. If you didn't, try to touch the wall without bending your knees a ton and without locking your knees. You should feel your weight mostly in your heels rather than the front of your feet.
Try to perform this exercise in front of a mirror to help check your form. Ideally, you would be able to see something written on the front of your shirt in the mirror as you go up and down. You do this by keeping your chest up, your shoulders back, and your butt sticking out. By activating and tightening all those muscles, the entire back side of your body gets strengthened.
How low can you get your torso? Depending on your flexibility, you might be able to get it parallel to the ground. If you can, that's great! If not, that's ok too, the flexibility will come with time. Also, I would much rather you perform a shallower good morning than one that requires you to drop your chest in order to get lower.
Once you get the hang of the hinging movement and can perform that for at least 15 reps, it's time to add some weight! Just like in a squat, you want the bar to sit on the meaty part of your upper back - your traps. Holding the bar there will require strength in your shoulders and a pretty good range of motion, so take your time and go slow. Adding the weight also changes your center of gravity compared to performing the exercise without weight, so make sure to build up slowly, if you can find a small bar, that's best to start with!
Try a few reps and see how it goes, if the weight feels stable on your shoulders, keep going! Expect to feel soreness from this exercise all the way from your upper back down into your glutes, and even down into your hamstrings. It really is an awesome exercise, so try it out with your next workout, or use one of my already curated plans!
Seriously, deadlifts are my absolute favorite thing to teach women how to do. I love seeing the “lightbulb” moment when they learn how to shift their hips back in space and pick up whatever weight (or object) is sitting on the ground in front of them.
how I coach deadlifts
something to note:
The video below demonstrates ONE type of deadlift VARIATION. There are many types and those specific videos/posts are on my list to discuss! For today though, we will work on a "Romanian" or "straight leg" deadlift, the kind that is most easily performed (due to flexibility restrictions).
Once you've done your "hip hinge" experiment from above, it's time to play with flexibility. As you see in the video, my back stays straight and my butt stays out the ENTIRE time the bar is traveling up and down. This means that I let the bar go down only as far as I can while maintaining that good form. This means that when you perform a deadlift, as SOON AS you reach a point that causes your back to curl or your shoulders to round forward, it's time to stop! The point that you just reached is how far down you should go. Let me reiterate: I would much rather you do a "shallower" deadlift and build up flexibility over time rather than compensate your form just to get closer to the ground.
Once you've mastered the hip hinge and keeping your back straight, it's time to add some weight! Start off with dumbbells and slowly progress up. The key with a Romanian deadlift is to test your flexibility with each rep... Each stretch you feel is the stuff that will give you "leg day soreness" the day after!
My name is Laura and I help overly tired 20something women overhaul their lives, energy and confidence without overwhelm.
Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and write to the best of my knowledge on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle practices, I cannot be made liable to know all information on a particular subject. Knowledge gained through this blog is to be used at your own risk and all lifestyle changes should be discussed with a doctor before starting.
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