Female fitness sensation Flavia Del Monte is back to talk about bodyweight squats. This is a simple but incredibly effective exercise for women who want to round out the development of their derrière and create sleek, healthy looking legs.
A lot of women are scared of muscle, so they focus mostly on cardio. But it’s muscle which gives form to those key body parts that define your “shape”. And the glutes (the butt muscles) are a perfect example. You can whittle away at fat until Ryan takes his final sip of gin (Adam – yeah, as if that’ll ever happen), but you still won’t achieve that round feminine derrière unless you’ve got the right muscular development to support it.
One of the best exercises to build a beautiful butt is the squat. And the best place to start learning perfect squat technique is with the bodyweight version. Squats, when done right, provide incredible recruitment of the glutes and hamstrings (the back of the leg) while also putting the quadriceps to work (the front of the leg). This means great overall leg development in one tight little package!
Let’s take a look…
Here are the key cues for squats:
- Start by sending your butt back (break at the waist)
- Then bend at the knees to drop your butt back and down towards the ground
- Keep your weight on your heels
- Keep your spine long and your low back neutral
- Go as low as you can while keeping spine long
- Keep your chest up and eyes forward
- Drive through the heels to come back to standing
Once you’re comfortable with bodyweight squats, you can work them into your training in many different ways. Try doing them super slow — 5 seconds down and 5 seconds up — to promote “the burn” and increase the amount of fat burning growth hormone you release during your workout. You can do super fast bodyweight squats (with good technique) to increase your fast twitch muscle fiber recruitment. This will increase insulin sensitivity and help you shuttle more fuel to muscles and less to fat. You can also use them as active rest between sets of other bodyweight exercises like push ups, v-ups, pull ups and any other “-ups” you can think of.
What about weight? Sure! By all means add weight to your squats once you master the movement. You can hold weights by your side for dumbbell squats or progress onto barbell squats. Taking the time to master the basics of the squat will pay off in spades. This is truly a universal human movement. We were made to squat — you just have to look at kids in a playground for proof…
Do you perform enough squats in your training? What’s YOUR tight tush secret? What’s your favourite lower body exercise? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have any questions for Flavia, she’ll be keeping an eye on the comments too. 🙂