Most Effective Exercises: Squats

Why it’s a winner: Squats work multiple muscle groups — the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals — at the same time. Also, they can be done pretty much anywhere. If you have a few minutes (even at your desk) you can always do bodyweight exercises.

How to: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles.

Practice with a real chair to master this move. First, sit all the way down in the chair and stand back up. Next, don’t sit all the way down; barely touch the chair’s seat before standing back up. Lastly, graduate to doing squats without a chair.

I often alternate between squats, push-upsĀ and jumping jacks when I’m at work to get my heart rate and energy up. It’s a good mix of cardio with an upper and a lower body exercise that can be done anywhere anytime. I usually do 20 seconds of each with only a 5 second break in between for as many sets as I can in the time I have (usually only a couple of minutes in between tasks).

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