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In strength training and fitness, the squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quadriceps femoris muscle, hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body.

Air squats are great for beginners and to tone, but if you’ve been squatting for more than six months and haven’t noticed your butt getting bigger, it’s because you need to add weight. Your glutes are just muscles, and you have to add resistance in order for them to grow, the same way you would with any other muscle.

Benefits:

Squats help build muscle. They don’t just help you achieve wonderful, toned legs; they promote body-wide muscle building by creating an anabolic (muscle building) environment in the body. They work up your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles, lower back and your butt too.

How to do the perfect squat:

Here’s a primer on how exactly to do the perfect squat.

  1. Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
  3. Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
  4. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
  5. Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

Start with three sets of 10 squats, and then add more reps (12, 15) as you get used to the motion. It’s definitely awkward at first, so don’t expect to master the squat right away. Focus on your form, and then worry about adding reps.

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