If you’ve been trying to lose some inches while gaining muscle—and your other workouts just aren’t doing the trick—why not give squats a try? This article covers the big-time benefit of doing squats for upper body fitness, and how to easily do it yourself—even if you’re a beginner.
Why Upper Body Matters When You Squat
Some people struggle to see the results, even if they spend hours at the gym a day. If you are targeting one muscle group at a time, you aren’t maximizing your workout, because the more muscle groups you work out simultaneously, the more energy your body has to spend—which leads to more calories burned. That’s why incorporating weights that target your back, shoulders, and triceps while you squat is so beneficial!
Barbell SquatThe Squat Press
If you’re a beginner, start without adding any weight at all to ensure correct form. If you’re familiar with the squat press, begin adding weight to get big arms! Place the bar right below your neck (so it’s resting on the upper part of your back.) Your hands should rest just outside of your shoulders, and your legs should be a bit wider than ‘shoulder width’ apart. The goal is to get into as deep of a squat as possible, without losing your form or power. Keep your chest up, and drive through your heels with each lift. You’ll get strong in no time!
Barbell Squats
There may not be a more efficient way to be strong than you pick up a barbell, and squat! Whether you’re an athlete or an amateur, squats with added weight can allow you to achieve that muscle tone you’ve never had, in less time. In fact, according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers discovered that the back squat elicited testosterone and hormonal growth—more effectively than free weights alone. There are many variations to this exercise, but the front barbell squat is a great workout for overall strength flexibility, core, and lower back definition. Here’s how to do it:
• Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and holding onto the barbell at chest level.
• Place your arms on top of the barbell and lower yourself into a squat position, keeping your chest up.
• Lower yourself down into a squat as low as your body will take you, making sure that your legs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and then push yourself back up from your heels.
The squat workout is an amazing one, because you can adjust the weight to make it the perfect exercise for anyone—no matter what your goals may be. Squat with less weight to achieve lean muscle and drop pounds; squat with heavy weight to get a ripped upper body. It’s your choice, your body, and the more you squat, the more sculpted you’ll become!