It has been debated for years as to which exercise is best for firming and reshaping your rear-end. Well after many examinations and trials the vote as been cast. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Front Squat along with the Dead-Lift has been labeled the best butt firming exercises in the world. That is whole lot to say about an exercise. So I bet you are wondering why exactly those two exercises were choosing out of the hundreds of other possible butt, hip and thigh exercises. In the next 5 minutes I am going to tell you exactly why squats will perk your cheeks up more than anything else!
As you may have already discovered, the squat is at the top of the heap (along with dead-lifts) as one of the most effective overall exercises for stimulating body composition changes (muscle gain and fat loss). This is because exercises like squats and dead-lifts use more muscle groups under a heavy load than almost any other weight bearing exercises known to man. For this reason and this reason alone are we able to classify the squat and dead-lift the most effective butt exercise because they stimulate more muscle activation and hormonal response (i. e. weight loss, fat loss, muscle definition and firming of the butt muscle)
Can Squats also make your upper body stronger?
Squats win again, recent university research studies have shown that adding squats into a training program increases upper body development, in addition to the great reshaping of your butty-butt, even though upper body specific joint movements are not performed during the squat. Whether your goal is gaining muscle mass, losing body fat, building a strong and functional body, or improving athletic performance, the basic squat and dead-lift (and their variations) are the ultimate solution. If you don't believe me that squat and dead-lifts are THE basis for a lean and powerful body, then go ahead and join all of the other overweight people pumping away mindlessly for hours on boring cardio equipment. You won't find long boring cardio in any of my programs!
Squats can be done with any free weighted objects such as barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, sandbags, or even just body weight. Squats should only be done with free weights - NEVER with a Smith machine or any other squat machines! Machines do not allow your body to follow natural, biomechanically-correct movement paths. You also perform less work because the machine stabilizes the weight for you. Therefore, you get weaker results!
All of this information is not to say that you should run to the gym and just start doing random squats, ABsolutley not. You see most people when they hear the word squat they think of the movement where you place the barbell behind your back and rest it towards the top of your back (your traps). The type of squat that people are most familiar with is the barbell back squat where the bar is resting on the traps muscles of the upper back. However most knowledgeable fitness trainers will tell you that those types of squats will place more stress on your lower back muscles. There are a few other types of squats, namely over head and front squats that are better than traditional squats.
How to correctly perform squats:
Since the front squat needs more stability to control the weight, your core (abs) is going to be engaged at higher levels than they would with the traditional squat. It is mostly a lower body exercise, but is great for functionally incorporating core strength and stability into the squatting movement. It can also be slightly difficult to learn how to properly rest the bar on your shoulders. There are two ways to rest the bar on the front of the shoulders. In the first method, you step under the bar and cross your forearms into an “X" position while resting the bar on the dimple that is created by the shoulder muscle near the bone, keeping your elbows up high so that your upper arms are parallel to the ground. You then hold the bar in place by pressing the thumb side of your fists against the bar for support.
Alternatively, you can hold the bar by placing your palms face up and the bar resting on your fingers against your shoulders. For both methods, your elbows must stay up high to prevent the weight from falling. Your upper arms should stay parallel to the ground throughout the squat. Find out which bar support method is more comfortable for you. Then, initiate the squat from your hips by sitting back and down, keeping the weight on your heels as opposed to the balls of your feet. Simply proceed to lower the weight until your thighs are just about parallel with the ground and then keeping your weight more towards your heels press back up to the starting position. This is the key factor in squatting to protect your knees from injury and develop strong injury-resistant knee joints. Keep in mind - squats done correctly actually strengthen the knees; squats done incorrectly can damage the knees.
I always recommend that when ever you attempt a new exercise you should practice the form with a very light weight until you are able to do 3 sets of 15 reps with perfect form. You are going to be shocked at how much your core is going to work during this new Worlds Best Butt Exercise.
Pick up your copy of my friend Joey Atlas’ The Leg, Butt, Hip and Thigh Makeover Dvd.
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