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The beginner challenge is designed to help you learn how to do squats safely and effectively, while building up a base level of fitness.
Each day there’s a target number of reps that you should aim to reach in as few sets as possible, but it doesn’t matter if you do one them all in one go or break them up throughout the day. Note that for single-leg squat variations this is the number of reps for each leg, not the total for both!
But if you can’t perform the target number of reps with perfect form (ie you let your knees cave in or don’t drop as low on each rep), take the next day off and then go back to the beginning of that 7 day period.
Each 7 day period will involve a different squat variation. Basically, that means you’ll be doing a slightly different squat each week. You might not have heard of each exercise, but detailed explanations can be found below the challenges.
That’s it! But before you jump straight in I suggest you take some time to learn how to do squats properly, warm up, and eat well which I can help you with with one of my nutritional Challenge Groups or with a Free Clean Eating Group which is crucial to your success!
Counterbalance Box Squat
The counterbalance box squat is simply a basic squat, but done to a surface like a chair or stool. You use your arms as a counterbalance to make the exercise easier, and the surface as a way of measuring your depth. Don’t sit down on the surface; touch your butt to it to make sure you are going to the same depth with each rep. You can make box squats easier by using a higher surface, or harder by using a lower surface.
Prisoner Box Squat
Instead of using your arms as a counterbalance, place your hands behind your head to perform what is known as a prisoner squat. A prisoner squat is more difficult than a counterbalance squat because it requires more balance and stability. Once again though, you will be using a surface like a chair or stool to make sure you hit the same depth with each rep.
Counterbalance Air Squat
After a couple of weeks of squatting to a box you will have built up an awareness of how low you need to go until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Parallel (or lower) is the depth you should be aiming for with each rep. An ‘air squat’ is simply a bodyweight squat performed as per the instructions earlier in the article. ‘Air’ is used to distinguish it from other variations.
Prisoner Air Squat
This is the toughest variation of the 4 in the beginner squat challenge. Again, make sure you are getting as close to parallel as you possibly can, but this time place your hands behind your head to make it more challenging.
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