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Today’s Workout column: Deep squat works lower body

Marlo Alleva
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Marlo Alleva demonstrates a deep squat with support.

This has definitely been an unforgettable spring season in countless ways, including fitness.

The word creative has definitely become a coined phrase, especially with our at-home workouts.

Many times, we are limited with equipment such as weights and barbells that we’d usually use in the gym. And bodyweight alone just isn’t enough.

That’s where our creativity comes to play.

Our move today is a deep squat with support. All you need for this squat is a fixed, sturdy object for gripping such as a pillar, door frame, countertop, etc. Basically something to support the resistance of your full body weight.

This is a squat, so you’ll be working your whole lower body, glutes, hamstrings, quads and also a portion of your upper back. And the reason for support isn’t only to keep you from falling; it is actually to push you “lower” into the squat and add more of your own body’s resistance without the added weight of dumbbells or bars.

Begin this exercise by locating your sturdy, stable object that you will be holding onto throughout the movement. Grip your object at chest level and extend your arms out straight. Place your feet just outside of hip width, keeping the toes angled forward. Hold your chest tall, and engaging your abdominals for a strong trunk, you are ready to proceed into your deep squat.

Slightly leaning back, and utilizing your grip, your weight will shift into your backside versus your feet. Begin to bend in your knees pushing your rear end back and down. As you lower, try keeping your knees behind the toes. Once you reach your lowest point, continue to go even lower, kind of like pushing yourself beyond your normal comfort zone. Remember that you are in control by the grip you have on your supporting object.

The idea is to lower your rear end as close to the ground as you can, without touching the floor. Once you reach your deepest squat, slowly push through the hills and extend back up into your standing position. Continue this deep squatting motion for at least 10 times.

Take a small break in between sets to give your hands a rest, and reposition your feet as needed. Shoot for at least three sets.

This supported deep squat is meant to give you intensity, simply by the deeper motion, but also due to limited resistance.

If you find this move is too difficult on your knees, or it’s too difficult to stand back up from a deep position, simply go as low as you are comfortable with, then return to the top.

As always, this deep squat is great to add into any lower body workout, no matter where you are especially for your stay at home fitness!

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.