Happy Friday! I am feeling much better today, the fatigue cloud has lifted and I am still riding my post gym endorphin high – which I love and wish I could carry with me throughout the day.
Today was all about the squat. I have become a huge fan of squats in the many variations. They are a great total lower body workout, effectively working the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Squats are versatile, can be done with or without weight, easily modified and with all of the variations it is hard to get bored.
I remember when I began my fit chick journey and I tried a weighted barbell squat for the first time, 50 pounds and my quads were burning for days. I think that is where the addiction began for me. I have been competitive with myself, always pushing a little more to see how much more I can handle.
In order to progress with lifting heavier weight, I used a smith machine. A smith machine consists of a barbell that is fixed within a rack, allowing only vertical movements. Some, but not all smith machines are counterbalanced, making it easier to lift. I like the smith machine because I don’t train with a partner so I’ve got no one to spot me when I want to go heavy. It also allows me to get my feet far out in the front and drop down low to target my glutes. A lot of people knock the smith machine due to its limitations, I haven’t replaced barbell squats completely as seen in the video.
I am not getting as low as I should here because I went a little heavier than normal (still testing my limits!). My balance issues cause me to rock a little on the way up, though the barbell squat has helped me improve my balance. This is a staple exercise in my training and it is a work in progress.
Hope you all have a fun FLEX Friday and enjoy the weekend!