In my previous blog, we looked at the anatomy of our hips and the actions of the hip joint. From that, we can see why squats alone won’t achieve optimal hip function, let alone achieve the coveted “booty”.
A 30-day squat challenge will help you to build basic strength in your hips and thighs. Heck – it may even help you to start changing the shape of both your legs and butt. But there are a few things you should know about squats as an exercise, as this will affect your results.
A squat is actually more of a leg exercise than a glute exercise. The activation time of your glutes while squatting is minimal. The lower your squat, the more glute involvement you will get. But, we all reach the same point in our squat where our leg muscles take over. As our legs straighten, our legs muscles bear the load, leaving our glutes relatively inactive. This is true especially when you don’t stand up properly at the end of the movement. In a squat, your glutes work hardest when the muscle fibres are extended, and they don’t stay extended for long.
A squat is a "quad-dominant" exercise. This means that the main muscles in the exercise is your quads, or your thighs. If you have a postural imbalance caused by tight hip flexors or quads, squats may not be the best exercise for you. First, we need to address imbalances through stretching and activating the appropriate muscles through specific exercises. Physios and other therapists can help us with this. We also need to make sure you are performing the exercise correctly. If you have a postural imbalance, or your form isn’t correct, doing an exercise repeatedly over a period of time will only train a dysfunction, and it will wreak havoc on your body sooner or later. Trust me! I’ve been there and done that! This is one of the main reasons why getting help from someone more qualified than yourself is so important. At minimum, we all need someone to check our posture and assess our movement. From here we can learn how to correct imbalances, and exercise the best way for our individual bodies.
A 30-day challenge may sound good, but is it actually right for you? There's a good possibility it’s not.
What’s up next for our final booty blog? Click here to find out exactly what combination of exercises are going to get you strong, head-turning glutes!