Weak legs are sorta like walking with stilts in that as long as they stay fairly straight, everything is fine, but if they ever get caught off balance, it can be almost impossible to correct back into a upright position.
Free standing squats, will exercise muscle groups (or parts of muscle groups) that are often passed over if someone does not exercise regularly. Squats, when doing the full range of motion, will help activate the muscle fibers of these particular muscle groups.
Why the squat works so well: we need the capability to pull ourselves back up if our knees ever buckle underneath us. When this happens we often times realize how weak our leg muscles have become. Weak legs are sorta like walking with stilts in that as long as they stay fairly straight, everything is fine, but if they ever get caught off balance, it can be almost impossible to correct back into a upright position. Squats strengthen the very muscles we need for standing up from a sitting position, getting back up from a squatting position as well as strengthening the muscles we need to help correct our balance when we stumble. If these muscles are really weak and our knees buckle, we tend to continue in a southern direction.
Different ways to do the squat:
1. Hold onto something and lower yourself into a squatting position. If your knees hurt, lean backwards with your feet almost up under whatever you are holding onto so that all your weight is on your heels, then slightly lift the front of your feet as you’re going through the squatting movement. This will take the pressure off your knees and will really work the hamstrings and buttocks.
2. Regular standing squat. I like holding my hands out in front of me as I lower into a squat, then thrust them upwards when I come back up.
Use good form: Keep your knees from going past your toes, (this keeps pressure off your knees). You simply want to squat the buttocks down in-between your heels like you would if you were squatting around a fire.
There are two common ways of increasing power in the squat: speed of movement and added resistance. Jump squats after an initial warm up, can help build and tone muscle. To do this movement, simply drop into a squat, then explode upward reaching your arms upwards for a good core strengthening movement.
This works really well as a circuit exercise when you rotate from squats to push-ups, since it works different muscle groups and while one group is resting, you’re working the next group, thus keeping your heart rate up and stimulating increased lung activity. This helps turn your workout into a cardio, fat burning, and muscle stimulating workout all in one!