Today’s photos were taken in our lovely garage. Pardon the dusty mess! Another one of our “to-do” projects.
Hey, Sweet Friends! I hope you all had a refreshing weekend and start of your week. It is still Winter here in Nebraska and I am starting to lose hope that it will never warm up! Nebraska Spring’s and Summer’s are already so short-lived, so I am really praying we get a lonnnnng, drawn out Summer. It has been a few weeks since I have done a fitness update and workout so I am excited to get this baby up! I went LIVE on Instagram last week with my squat PR (personal record) and had some great feedback! If you tuned in, you probably saw the hot-mess dynamic of our family! Noelia was throwing a tantrum the whole time and I couldn’t quite make the live how I wanted it, but I guess thats what happens in real life moments! I will definitely do more live’s and I am so happy some of you want to see more!
Today I wanted to talk to you all about how to improve your squat strength. By no means at all do I feel like I am someone who is strong in this department (or any department, really!), but I am someone who has worked consistently on this lift for about 6 years. If you read my The Start of a Passion post, you will read how I truly started from the bottom with all lifts. Scratch, Chapter 1, Page 1. I could barely balance the bar well enough to have proper form! I had always been an active person, but lifting was truly out of my comfort zone at the time. Now it is my passion, and I love to help others form a passion for it as well.
When it comes to performing compound style lifts(Squat, Deadlift, Bench), proper form and consistency is the key. Never should you EVER sacrifice your form to get up more weight. I have done it, I’m sure we have all done it at some point, and it really does set you back a few steps. Sacrificing form can lead to injury and an injury gone unattended to can lead to more issues in the future. Be confident on your form first then go from there!
Form tips for Squat:
- Place the bar evenly along your traps. Many people tend to place the bar too high on their neck causing their upper body to lean forward when they squat. You will definitely feel a difference once you do this correctly.
- Keep your feet shoulder width apart with them slightly pointed outward
- As you squat, keep your chest and head up at all times. Never allow the bar to bring your chest down
- Squat down letting your bottom sit back as if sitting in a chair. Go to at least parallel, but a true squat is breaking parallel
- Explode from your heels and middle back to the top and squeeze those glutes!
Get that bar on those traps
Toes pointed out sightly, chest up and head up!
Many people stop here, push yourself further by going lower. I too struggle with breaking parallel!
BAM! I always envision it like my hammies want to give my calves a kiss 😉
Below is a simple strength plan that I created if you feel stuck at your current weight. When it comes to legs, it is all about reps on reps on reps. I believe doing legs multiple times a week is beneficial.
Improve Your Squat: Strength Plan
The weight provided is simply an example. Please replace with your own weight that you are currently working with
For your first day of legs in the week, I want you doing a hypertrophy day. The second day of legs will be a heavy day. I usually hit legs on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (for now, stick to two days).
Hypertrophy: high reps ranges anywhere from 15-30
Heavy: heavy rep ranges anywhere from 5-10
Let’s say you are stuck at a 95lb squat. You can hit a 95 lb squat (the bar and 25lb plates on each side) for about 8 reps in 3 sets, but often feel like you can not do more
LEG DAY #1: Hypertrophy
5 sets of squats
Set #1: Warm-up with just the bar, 25 reps
Set #2: Add 10lb plates to each side, 20 reps
Set #3: Add on another 10lb plate to each side, 15 reps
Set #4: Remove current plates and replace with 25lb plate on each side, 12-15 reps
Set #5: Stay at 95lbs for at least 12 reps
Follow up with quad focused exercises.
LEG DAY #2: Heavy
6 sets of squats
Set #1: Warm-up with just the bar, 25 reps
Set #2: Add 10lb plate on each side, 20 reps
Set #3: Remove 10lb plates, replace with 25lb plate on each side, 10 reps
Set #4: Stay at 95lbs for another 10 reps
Set #5: Add 10lb plate to each side to total 115lb for 8-10 reps
Set #6: Add 5lb plate to each side and perform your max amount of reps
Follow up with hamstring focused exercises.
For four weeks, implement these two days into your week. Each week increase each accession by 5-10lbs if able. Please note that your squat should not be the only lift of your leg day. Add in accessory movements to really blast those muscles! Always follow your workout with a good meal high in carbs!
Again, I am no personal trainer, nutritionist, etc. I am just someone who knows that by changing simple form mishaps and staying consistent with the lift, that good change happens! You know your body best, so listen to it. If a weight feels too heavy, go down. If you are not struggling to get that last rep up each time, go up. Always push yourself and know that the only person that can make the difference is you!
Go crush it my friends!! Comment below or email me if this post helped you in anyway. Is there something I need to explain further/better? Never be afraid to let me know, as well!
Are you an avid pinner? It would mean the world to me if you could pin this image below!