STRONG Idea: 12 Days of Fitness; Day 5

By Emily Stapleton on December 06, 2013 from Strong Ideas via

On the fifth DAY OF FITNESS, my trainer gave to me
5 Squats
4 Jumping Jacks
2-Floor to Ceilings and
A 1-minute plank.
This is the fifth of a series of 12 posts designed to encourage you to meet the challenge of exercising for 12 consecutive days during the holiday season.  Need to start at the beginning? Click here.  Want to read more about the nature of the challenge? Click here.
The exercise of the day is a Squat. Start with your feet about hip width apart.  Drop your butt down keeping your weight on your heels.  Return to the start position in perfect posture (slight squeeze of the glutes, belly button in toward spine, shoulders back, chest out).  Watch the video for a short demonstration.
Modification: The best way to modify a squat is to shorten the range of motion.  With practice, most people can bend the knees to more than a 90-degree angle.  Notice I said “with practice.”  As you start perfecting your squat form, don’t try to go farther than your body is ready for.  Concentrate on keeping your weight on your heels (you should literally be able to curl your toes upward).  If you feel your weight shift to your toes, you’ve gone too far…simply shorten the range of motion. 
The squat strengthens the quadriceps (front of the legs), the hamstrings (back of the legs), and the calves.  In addition, if done correctly, the squat also strengthens the core.  Focus on keeping the belly button in toward the spine and the shoulders back.
Water challenge: As we continue the 12 Days of Fitness, I’m adding a simple water challenge.  Try to increase the amount of water you’re drinking each day.  One of the best ways to do this is to record it.  Each time you drink 8 ounces of pure, natural water make a hash mark on paper or record it on your phone.  More on hydration as we continue.
Stay tuned.  The 12-day challenge continues tomorrow.
Emily Stapleton

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