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September 27, 2013 6:14 AM
Hey everyone!

All of this is new to me! I've started doing squats and have a few questions that I've either asked in the past with no real answers, or I've Googled variations of the question that just led me to pictures of fantastic behinds or multiple answers/more confusion:

I do 20 squats a day which is all I can really handle right now. I intend on doing 10 more squats per week, every week, unless I can't, but that's my plan! Anyway, I'm not using any weights. I went to track this on MFP and it said "please enter weights" ~ so I'm wondering if my attempts are futile without weights.

When doing squats I get a burn in the front of my thighs. Will this still help shape my rear? It makes me wonder if my form is right. I do other thigh exercises (and arms, stomach, core, pilates, and a few other things ~ but in very low numbers of reps and sets) and on certain ones (I'm not sure if there's an organized name for this; but the best way I can explain it is that I get into doggy style position, extend my leg out behind me and pump it up 20 times, bring it out and back in 20 times, and then crook my leg at my knee and bring it up 20 more times) and get a lovely burn in my upper thigh/butt.

I spoke to a few body builders in person and they each had a different take on squat form; as did the internet! I've been doing a variation of squats where I stand against a door/wall to keep my back straight and squat, and ones where I start straight and towards the later end of the squat my upper half behinds forward, bringing my arms out straight ahead of me. Are either of these right? Are either of these wrong?

I've read about spot reduction myths and such; but I thoroughly enjoy thigh exercises - they seem to be all I can get into right now. Let me know, thanks!
September 27, 2013 9:30 AM
Continuing to add reps in that range will only build muscular endurance. If your goals are to increase strength, build muscle, or general aesthetic progress I would suggest you increase the level of resistance. Easiest by using weights, but if you are not interested in weights, look up a body weight progression like Convict Conditioning or You Are Your Own Gym. To activate more of your "rear", the squats need to be low. Describe your goals better and there will be many other suggestions here for sure.
September 27, 2013 9:35 AM
If you're unsure of your squat form, ask a personal trainer to check it, or upload a video of yourself.

Squats and deadlifts are better than the doggy kicks and wall squats.
September 27, 2013 9:46 AM
There are just so many ways how to do a squat right way. Both ways you described are right ways, only little different. More weight you will use faster and more muscle you will build so toning your legs and butt will be faster with lifting actual weights not body weight. You can do it with body weight tho but it will take more time cos you will need to do more sets and more reps and prolly until failure to get similar muscle building results. You are mostly training endurance that way, if you want build muscle to look better then lifting heavy is not completely necessary but would be the most efficient way for sure.

But you can still do great with body exercises. Now that you can do 20 squats you can try doing pistol squats with one leg. If you can't do one then do them on chair and lower it as you progress. Then once you master those you can do jumping pistol squats what are ever harder. As for that doggy stile leg rise you can switch it for back bridges what are also very much harder. :)
September 27, 2013 9:47 AM
QUOTE:

Continuing to add reps in that range will only build muscular endurance. If your goals are to increase strength, build muscle, or general aesthetic progress I would suggest you increase the level of resistance. Easiest by using weights, but if you are not interested in weights, look up a body weight progression like Convict Conditioning or You Are Your Own Gym. To activate more of your "rear", the squats need to be low. Describe your goals better and there will be many other suggestions here for sure.


Thanks! My general goal is to make my behind look better, maybe lift a little; but just general shaping and/or bulking where possible/reasonable. Our bodies are shaped much differently and I know my results will never be the same as another individuals (especially who has an entirely different shape than my own), but whatever she did to firm up, bulk up and tone those areas is something I would definitely like to aim for:

Image not displayed

I'm assuming she did an entire body work out which would be cool too ~ but I'm not particularly interested in that unless it's required to achieve similar butt-goals. :-P

Edit: Now that I looked at the entire picture I am completely envious of this woman! What a transformation, dang. Okay, yeah; I would LOVE to tone my back/arms/thighs/butt like hers. Any recommendations or input on how this could be done?
Edited by VelvetMorning On September 27, 2013 9:49 AM
September 27, 2013 9:50 AM
It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.
September 27, 2013 9:53 AM
QUOTE:

It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.


Oooh! I'll check my knees and make sure. I'll work on making a video, too!
September 27, 2013 9:56 AM
QUOTE:

It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.


Agreed on all accounts. Also, squats will only help your butt if you go all the way down. the top of your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

Bodyweight squats are better than nothing, and more than fine if that's all you can do right now.

Check this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawBY5p29fQ
Edited by jacksonpt On September 27, 2013 9:59 AM
September 27, 2013 9:58 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Continuing to add reps in that range will only build muscular endurance. If your goals are to increase strength, build muscle, or general aesthetic progress I would suggest you increase the level of resistance. Easiest by using weights, but if you are not interested in weights, look up a body weight progression like Convict Conditioning or You Are Your Own Gym. To activate more of your "rear", the squats need to be low. Describe your goals better and there will be many other suggestions here for sure.


Thanks! My general goal is to make my behind look better, maybe lift a little; but just general shaping and/or bulking where possible/reasonable. Our bodies are shaped much differently and I know my results will never be the same as another individuals (especially who has an entirely different shape than my own), but whatever she did to firm up, bulk up and tone those areas is something I would definitely like to aim for:

Image not displayed

I'm assuming she did an entire body work out which would be cool too ~ but I'm not particularly interested in that unless it's required to achieve similar butt-goals. :-P

Edit: Now that I looked at the entire picture I am completely envious of this woman! What a transformation, dang. Okay, yeah; I would LOVE to tone my back/arms/thighs/butt like hers. Any recommendations or input on how this could be done?


Yep, I'd be willing to bet my last dollar that was a full body routine with heavy weights for that change. Highly unlikely you would ever get those results on body weight and high reps unless you are a genetic lottery winner. She was no stranger to heavy squats, deadlifts, and lunges with an ass like that.
Edited by ElliottTN On September 27, 2013 10:03 AM
September 27, 2013 10:01 AM
When I do squats I really have to think about activating the glute when rising up. Also try to balance your body weight more in your heels and push up through your heels, in turn causing the glutes to really squeeze while rising.
I feel it in my thighs often too and then have to shift my weight. Try sumo squats (wider stance) and skater lunges. I really feel it in my glutes with those excercises.
September 27, 2013 10:02 AM
QUOTE:

My general goal is to make my behind look better, maybe lift a little; but just general shaping and/or bulking where possible/reasonable. Our bodies are shaped much differently and I know my results will never be the same as another individuals (especially who has an entirely different shape than my own), but whatever she did to firm up, bulk up and tone those areas is something I would definitely like to aim for:

Image not displayed


Her butt looks better in picture 2 because she's turned sideways, she's sticking her butt out, and she has a smaller bikini - all of which make it look bigger. Ignore before / after pics - they're optical illusions. Follow the advice of fitness professionals. Most would suggest following a full-body lifting program.
September 27, 2013 10:03 AM
QUOTE:

It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.


The other way to feel the burn is to start working towards pistol squats. You could do skater squats or Bulgarian split squats to start making those body weight squats more challenging.

You might get better results by adding glute bridges/thrusts and deadlifts to your routine. Check out Strong Curves, by Bret Contreras, the "glute guy."
September 27, 2013 10:04 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.


Agreed on all accounts. Also, squats will only help your butt if you go all the way down. the top of your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

Bodyweight squats are better than nothing, and more than fine if that's all you can do right now.

Check this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawBY5p29fQ


Wow, AMAZING video! Thank you for that. Bookmarked!
September 27, 2013 10:05 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.


Agreed on all accounts. Also, squats will only help your butt if you go all the way down. the top of your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

Bodyweight squats are better than nothing, and more than fine if that's all you can do right now.

Check this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawBY5p29fQ


Wow, AMAZING video! Thank you for that. Bookmarked!


NP. His stuff is really good.


On a side note, if you can do 20 bodyweight squats, you can probably do 5 with a 10 or 25lb weight. You don't HAVE to do high reps all the time.
Edited by jacksonpt On September 27, 2013 10:06 AM
September 27, 2013 10:06 AM
Thank you for all of the advice!! I have a lot of research to do!
September 27, 2013 10:16 AM
Thanks for posting this..i too have a booty that needs toning up and i was curious how to really get that.. so reading everyone's posts does help! and yeah that pic, wow her ass is amazing! JEALOUS!
September 27, 2013 10:16 AM
Don't be afraid to use weight. Get your form down and just keep adding weight and you'll firm up nice. Don't worry about getting bulking because it is really hard for women to do that. Squats and deadlifts are good for legs, butt and back and abs.
Edited by chayes627 On September 27, 2013 10:17 AM
September 27, 2013 10:19 AM
Definitely not futile, but fewer weighted squats will do the same (if not more) for you as a higher number of body weight squats.

I used to do 50+ body weight squats -- now I do 15 squats with about 80 pounds of weight. So much less time and my booty and thighs are looking betta than ever.
September 27, 2013 10:23 AM
Stand facing a wall with your toes against the baseboards and your feet roughly shoulder width apart.. If you can squat without your knees hitting the wall or falling over backwards, then your form is good.
  36303500
September 27, 2013 10:39 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It's going to be really hard to feel that burn in your glutes without some weight on there with squats since its such a strong muscle group.

That said, when you do your squats are your knees traveling in front of your toes? If so you are probably leaning forward to much. As precious poster said, might be bet to have someone in person check your form or take a video so people online can check it.


Agreed on all accounts. Also, squats will only help your butt if you go all the way down. the top of your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

Bodyweight squats are better than nothing, and more than fine if that's all you can do right now.

Check this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawBY5p29fQ


Wow, AMAZING video! Thank you for that. Bookmarked!


NP. His stuff is really good.


On a side note, if you can do 20 bodyweight squats, you can probably do 5 with a 10 or 25lb weight. You don't HAVE to do high reps all the time.


Agreed--you will be shocked at what you can do when you try it. If you don't have any weights, fill a backpack with some books and wear it.
September 27, 2013 10:58 AM
If your goal is a nice ass you should also do barbell hip thrusts... google "bret contreras hip thrust" on youtube... u can start body weight but you need to add weight progressive... the only way to progress is not only add weight but keep increasing the weight slowly.... until you can barbell squat 225 lbs for reps and as for squat try to aim for a 135 lbs squat etc.... body weight is ok if ur a noob but u will never progress unless you constantly add weight in order to get stronger
September 27, 2013 11:09 AM
QUOTE:

Stand facing a wall with your toes against the baseboards and your feet roughly shoulder width apart.. If you can squat without your knees hitting the wall or falling over backwards, then your form is good.


Just to add, your shoulders, chest and head shouldn't touch the wall either.
  42912570
September 27, 2013 11:27 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Stand facing a wall with your toes against the baseboards and your feet roughly shoulder width apart.. If you can squat without your knees hitting the wall or falling over backwards, then your form is good.


Just to add, your shoulders, chest and head shouldn't touch the wall either.


I thought that was obvious... so I didn't mention it. My bad.
  36303500
September 30, 2013 4:36 PM
Hey guys! Its been a few days and I've tried some suggestions here (specifically the youtube video posted with Mark Rippetoe) - OMG! I'm not worried that I'm not doing it right now - that's for sure! I walked funny all day today, lol. I don't think my legs have ever been so sore, but it's fantastic! I just wanted to reiterate my thanks, this was all very helpful. (Also, I didn't have a backpack or weights, but I did do a few (likely misformed) fun squats with a gallon of milk in my hand :P )
September 30, 2013 4:48 PM
QUOTE:

Image not displayed



I want dat ass...

I did the squat challenage and in 17 days noticed a difference which spurred me to start doing SL 5x5 program....
  45561484

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