Squats… No Equipment, No problem!

Let’s face it, we’re all having challenges right now with social distancing and impacts to our routine. For health and fitness, this can mean a lack of access to equipment, and facilities we use to exercise. If our biggest challenge during COVID19 is a lack of exercise facilities, we’re among the very fortunate.

Being grateful and having perspective is very important, but let’s get rid of this notion that you need equipment to exercise. This You Tube video is a tutorial of the Squat, no equipment required. I breakdown the exercise into a step by step approach, including 3 safety tips you must practice at all times.

The squat is also an exercise that you can do regardless of your strength, flexibility, and fitness level. In addition to the body weight free standing squat, I demonstrate supported squats, and chair squats to show variations and a progression to add challenges as you get stronger and gain range of motion.

The progression is:

  1. Supported Squat (beginner version), until you can comfortably do this exercise, thighs parallel, for 3 sets of 10 reps.
  2. Chair or Box Squats, until you can do 3 sets of 10
  3. Free standing squats, only going as close to thighs parallel as you can while maintaining the three safety measures

Once you can squat thighs parallel, free standing, while maintaining the three safety measures, work up to 3 sets of 10. I am sure you will find that this concept/progression seems simple, but not easy when you try it.

Tune back in for more posts while social distancing, no equipment, no problem! Thank you for checking out my blog, be well everyone.

Helpful Related Videos

Hip Flexor Stretch
Calf and Ankle Mobility
Core Bracing and Lockout (Deadlift, same as Squat)

Follow up post, stiff, sore back at work…

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed the recent video posts exploring some possible causes (and solutions) for a stiff, sore back at work. I have heard people say “sitting is the new smoking”; while I do agree that sitting all day can contribute to some health and fitness challenges, in my opinion it is a scosche (tiny bit, a tad) over the top to equate sitting with intentionally breathing in smoke, tar, nicotine, and other chemicals. While I do not agree with the comparison, I do think it is important to explore the mechanisms of sitting and how we can balance them out. There are some actions we can take to alleviate potential negative impact of sitting, which are much more effective than placing a filter on the end of a cigarette, to close out that analogy. Here is a quick written recap, since we all learn and absorb information differently:

  1. Sitting puts the hips, and knees in “flexion”, prolonged time in this position can cause the hip flexors and hamstring muscle groups to become shortened, and tense:
  2. Shortened, tense hip flexors and hamstrings can contribute to poor posture, and stiff, sore hips/low back.
    1. Note: If you throw “lower back pain” into a google search, you will see many, many potential causes.
    2. This post is exploring one possibility for stiffness and soreness, please be an informed consumer of information and do what is best for you.
    3. Here is a deeper dive on back pain from Web MD-worth a look: https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/features/12-back-pain-tips#1
  3. Sitting also puts the glutes (butt) and quads in an inactive position.
  4. Taking time to stand, and do some light stretching to balance your hips, and hamstrings may bring you some relief at work.
  5. When you stand up, you should see a straight line down from your head, to shoulders, to hips, to knees, to feet.
    1. If you have any deviation or imbalance, it is a good idea to find out why.
  6. When you have time at home, it may help to throw on some comfy clothes and do more intentional stretching, and strengthening of:
    1. Hip flexors
    2. Glutes
    3. Hamstrings
    4. Quads
    5. Calves
Basic Hip Flexor Stretch
Glute Stretches

I hope the recent video post and exploration of the potential impact of sitting all day has been helpful for you. If you have any questions or would like to see me explore a specific topic, please send me a message through the blog or Facebook page. Please like the Facebook page “10 Minute Fitness Take-Aways” if you have not done so already, to get the most recent updates to your feed. Thank you!