Tone the lower body to show off stylish spring shorts by doing lunge and squat exercises using perfect form.
Prep for shorts season (or even pants season!) by amping your fitness routine with leg-toning exercises lunges and squats. Lunge and squat exercises will strengthen your quads, hamstrings and calves as well as tighten the glutes and core. But as easy as lunges and squats sound, many people do them incorrectly. How do you do proper lunges? We'll tell ya!
To maximize the benefits of lunges and squats, you must give attention to good form and technique. Womensforum.com Lifestyle Expert Andrea Metcalf and Kelly Amshoff, certified fitness trainer at Fitness Formula Club, demonstrate how to properly execute lunges and squats for an injury-free and muscle-building workout.
Technique for Proper Lunges
As you lunge, take your right left forward, and take the left leg backward to create intensity and range of motion. Imagine that your front leg is straight against a wall. Then lower your body, coming straight down. Always make sure your forward knee is directly above the ankle. Lunging forward puts pressure on your knee and ankle, which can cause an injury. During your lunge, always make sure your core is tight and shoulders are back. Keep the proper alignment and push up through the heel to stand.
You can also increase the intensity of your lunges by lifting and lowering you back leg up and down one inch in the lower lunge position. Stand, lower two inches off the floor again, hold for two seconds, and then stand back up on three.
Technique for Proper Squats
While standing with your feet apart at hip width, stick hips back so that as you lower, your knees are behind your toes and your back is nicely arched. After you've slowly lowered into the squat, squeeze your glutes and push through your heels to return to standing. A proper squat will shape the glutes, hips and thighs. As side effects, you’ll also engage and strengthen the abdominal and back muscles.
Incorporate squats and lunges as lower body exercises during your regular workout. It's even effective to just lunge and squat a few times while cooking or watching commercials on TV. Burn extra calories by holding dumbbells at your shoulders or in front of your body with your arms extended. Make lunges and squats part of your daily routine, and you’ll obtain that fit and strong lower-body physique for debuting those new stylish shorts this upcoming spring.