Speed Squats – Bodyweight Cardio Exercise Guide with Photos

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Muscles Targeted: Speed squats are outstanding for targeting the lower body muscles that include the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes. This exercise also hits the core muscles of the abdominals and lower back since they work as stabilizer muscles during the movement. The inner and outer thighs are engaged when moving the legs outward and inward, so this exercise is perfect for anyone who wants to tone up and tighten their saddlebags. Along with the muscle groups of the lower body being worked, your cardiovascular system is also strengthened when including this exercise into your workout routine. Your heart and lungs will get a great workout and you will also be releasing endorphins which helps to reduce stress and make you feel better.

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Speed Squats


Exercise Instructions: Take an athletic stance with your feet a few inches apart. Place your hands at about waist level with your arms bent at around 90 degrees. Begin the speed squats exercise by simultaneously spreading your feet apart while squatting down into the bottom position. During the squat portion of this exercise, your feet and knees should be pointed slightly outward and try to go down as far as you can comfortably go. Everyone has a different level of flexibility so if you can’t go super deep in the squat position, just go as low as possible. As you squat down, make sure to keep your back flat with your chest out and your shoulders back. From the bottom squat position, explode up quickly into the finish position where you will be standing up straight with your feet a few inches apart. Keep your head up while looking straight ahead while executing the movement. If you have a mirror available, perform speed squats in front of it to monitor your overall technique to make sure your form is correct. This is a fast paced exercise so make sure to keep your balance during the entire range of motion.

Why This Exercise is Important: Speed squats are beneficial for regular gym-goers who want to tone up their legs to athletes who are looking to improve performance for their chosen sport. This exercise increases agility, endurance, quickness and explosiveness. The cardiovascular and calorie burning benefits are also huge advantages of this movement. Your heart rate will definitely be increased while you are performing this exercise. This helps to strengthen your heart and lungs while burning off excess fat from your physique.

Things To Avoid: Technique and balance are crucial factors when executing speed squats. You want to keep your pace and tempo elevated with this exercise while always making sure your form is spot-on throughout the entire range of motion. Avoid letting your knees collapse in during the downward squat. Keep your knees and feet pointed slightly outward. Doing this will help protect your knees and also let you achieve a deeper squat. Avoid rounding or hunching your back and shoulders. Keep your back flat with your chest out and your eyes looking forward. Do not drop your head and look down while performing speed squats. If you need assistance, perform this movement in front of a mirror or video tape it and review your technique.

Reps and Sets: For beginners, shoot for 10-15 repetitions of speed squats for a total of 2-3 sets. Advanced athletes can do much higher reps in the range of 50-100 or choose to perform timed sessions of 60-120 seconds per set for a total of 5-6 sets. Take 60-90 seconds to catch your breath and rest in between sets. This great cardio bodyweight exercise will really get your heart rate up and your sweat flowing so get ready to achieve an amazing calorie and fat burning workout by including this exercise into your cardio routine! Check out our entire exercise guides database for exclusive access to over 500 muscle building and fat burning exercises!

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