If you are new to the world of weightlifting or just starting out with a routine that involves a lot of lower bodywork, then I’m sure you’ve come across some information about “Narrow Squats”. Maybe you’re still learning the basics and don’t know exactly how to go about doing them properly.
You might be wondering why on earth this exercise is so important for your workout. The reason for this is because it really maximizes the efficiency at which you use your hips when you’re squatting down.
By maximizing the amount of energy that you can use from your hips, you will end up with more strength and explosive power in your legs and quads. That’s why it’s crucial for you to know how to do it correctly.
What are Narrow squats?
The narrow squat utilizes your quads to lift the weight instead of your hips. This increases the intensity of your exercise as you work the muscles in your legs and thighs. The narrow squat works the entire muscle group in one single repetition, which builds a lot of muscle on one repetition, unlike the regular squat, where you are working for several muscle groups in each repetition.
The narrow squats work both the quadriceps and hamstrings, which are two muscle groups that play a major role when it comes to running and other athletic activities. This exercise also strengthens the hip muscles, which will help you engage in uphill sprints or other activities that require a lot of uphill running. It’s important to understand that you should work with a professional trainer so that you can perform this exercise properly and you can get the benefits from it. The proper technique for this exercise is what makes it different from the regular squat.
If you’re looking for a great workout that provides a great amount of muscular development and results as well as burning fat at the same time, the narrow squat is the best workout for you. If you find it challenging to perform this exercise, you can always opt for the barbell squat, which is a bit more difficult but is still effective. Another alternative for this exercise is to use dumbbells. Just make sure that you don’t strain your neck, and you’ll be fine. Always remember that staying injury-free is very important because you don’t want to develop chronic knee or back problems in the future.
How to do Narrow squats?
First, stand with your feet touching at an approximate 90-degree angle when you get into the starting position.
Next, your back must be flat, and your chest has to be upright. (If you are a skinny guy with skinny legs, this will not give you a massive chest. This is because the bar goes down to your waist. If you are a woman with wide hips, you are in for a treat as this will help you gain a lot of muscle on your lower body.)
The next thing you want to do is to bend your knees until they are about halfway to your toes. As you straighten your back up, inhale and forcefully pump your belly button while leaning forward slightly.
As you exhale, you should quickly push yourself back up to the starting position. (The thigh is pulled in through the large muscles of the quadriceps and hip adductor. You should feel the tension in the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip abductor as you do this exercise.)
You should also bend your back and chest simultaneously so your body forms a nice straight line. When your body gets into the correct position, you should not lock up your back. Instead, it is time to lean forward slightly to lift your knees.
This counts as one rep.
You can now perform five sets of ten reps, taking a break.
Benefits of narrow squats
1. Increase efficiency
The first benefit of doing a narrow squat is the increased efficiency at which you can squat. Many people who do wide squats miss the target because they have their hips too far in front of their leg.
If you were to sit straight up and down without cheating with your knees or not rotate your legs, you would hit a target as closely as a standard squatting position.
This way, you will not miss a single step as you squat down. In addition, this type of squat will maximize the efficiency of your hip rotation.
2. Maximize efficiency
Another benefit of narrow squats is that it will decelerate the amount of time it takes to bring your body to a full stop. Many people focus on coming to a complete stop, but there is more to it than just that. Most of the time, your legs are just already extended, and your pelvis is already parallel with the ground.
By practicing coming to a complete stop without shifting your weight at the hips, you will maximize the efficiency of your lower body. You’ll find that you move better overall in terms of transfer and strength development.
3. Build excellent leg power
As with any other kind of squat, it builds excellent leg power. It develops the vastus lateralis muscles, which is extremely effective for increasing your running speed. Because of the emphasis on your quads, you will not have a very wide base, but if you use this exercise properly, you will pull your entire body forward instead of just your legs.
This puts far less stress on your lower back and knees. It also helps you maintain a good posture and keep your center of gravity over your feet.
4. Strengthen your legs
Another benefit of narrow squats is that they will allow you to strengthen your legs more naturally than if you had a wider stance. Our legs are primarily designed to be shorter in length and land on the ground with less force than they do in a wider stance.
This forces us to use our other muscles to extend them, which makes the legs stronger overall as a whole. By landing on the balls of your feet, you can focus more on the muscles of your thighs, hamstrings, and calves for quickness rather than your legs. All of these muscles are working in a wider stance, leading to a much longer recovery time between attempts.
5. Build your running speed
There are many other benefits of narrow squat that make it well worth learning how to do them correctly. First, they will allow you to build your running speed much quicker than an Olympic-level run.
The quads are very efficient at generating all of the power you need to propel you forward, so by keeping them working for an extended period. You will train them to be more effective at that end. This efficiency will also translate into higher levels of acceleration.
It is well known that all of our muscle fibers are forced to lengthen when we run, so if you can lengthen these fibers during your squats, you will find yourself running faster in much less time.
6. Great aerobic workout
Narrow squat gives you a great aerobic workout as well. Because of the increased efficiency, you will have to use your shortening exercises your running endurance should improve as well.
For someone looking to get in shape a few times a week, a regular box of shortening can easily be added to your weekly workout routine. The benefits of doing these squats are numerous.
Variations of Narrow squats
There are many variations of narrow squats. Every variation has its own purpose in the game, and that’s why they are called “variations.” Each one has its own purpose, and we will explore some of the more popular ones here:-
1. Hinge Squat
This is a very common type of squat, where your feet stay close together while you bend your knees to one side. This prevents you from coming fully upright while keeping your center of gravity high. This also keeps your legs and quadriceps in a shortened position. This type of narrow stance is often used in transitions or chasing down the ball.
2. Hip toss
A hip toss is performed by throwing your front leg up in the air while keeping it close to the body. The ball is then tossed back for a volleyball.
3. Go Back Leg Kick
This is a low kicking of the rear leg while staying upright. The leg is kept close to the body, but you kick with it to come down in the ball. This is an excellent low knee shin splitter. This is great if you need to recover quickly after a kick.
4. Stretch Squat
This is a squat in which you stretch out your legs. While sitting down, turn your hips and knees inwards. Your back leg will be on the floor, and you will put your back leg on the bench with your bottom on it. Then, stretch out your legs as much as possible in a relaxed manner, and kick the rear leg forward.
5. Leg Lifts
Leg lifts are done by using your leg lifts, or leg extensions, to lift your legs. They do not actually lift the legs, but they do raise them higher than regular leg kicks. They work especially well when done on an incline, where they can be more effective. In general, leg lifts are most effective when used with jump squats.
6. Inclined Sit ups
Another variation of narrow squats is the inclined sit ups, requires that you bend at the knee. The intention is to raise the lower leg towards the body, making the thigh the butt of the shoe. You hold a pencil or similar object in the front of the inclined stance and kick the foot back into the stance.
7. Front Leg
This is a basic standing stance where your feet are apart, but your legs still face each other. If you have to move away from an opponent while standing still, you can do so by stepping forward with your front leg, then quickly stepping back with your rear leg.
Why narrow squats are so important?
First, by putting in extra work on your legs, you will be improving your posture. When you have a good posture, it will give you a better back and better overall fitness.
Second, by improving your posture, you will be helping your body become more efficient when it comes to using its strength. If you are going to lift a certain weight, you want to make sure that your body can efficiently use the strength that you are putting into the weight.
This way, you will be able to lift the weight with less effort, and you will be protecting yourself at the same time.
What muscles do Narrow squats work?
Narrow squats work the inner thighs, glutes (or buttocks), quadriceps (or hip flexors), and hip flexors (or hamstrings). These are all muscles that get hit hard in a squat because they are not wide or deep.
So, they have to expend more effort to perform the exercise, resulting in more calories burned.
Your quads and hamstring are attached to each other by a “muscle chain.” Any exercise in which you can isolate and target your muscles (muscles that run through the entire length of your limb) is known as a compound exercise.
An exercise where you can target a single muscle by performing contractions (motion) of just one muscle group is called a micro-movement or eccentric contraction. These exercises are so effective because they use large muscle groups (i.e., your quads and hamstrings) simultaneously.
As you strengthen your muscles, the micro-movements become larger, and the eccentric contractions become larger. This means that in a shorter amount of time than it takes for your muscles to reach their full range of motion, you are using the largest number of muscles at your maximum strength to exercise a single muscle.
If you want to kick your fitness program up a notch, try adding these exercises to your routine. They will not only work your muscles harder, but they will burn calories faster too.
These exercises build body strength and can help with everything from knee pain to shin splints. You won’t get bored with your workout when you include them into your everyday workout routine.
Mistakes you should avoid doing narrow squats
1. Trying too hard
The first mistake is trying too hard. If you’re not in the best shape possible and have pain all the time, you’re going to have to push yourself to the limit. This is a mistake because you should be enjoying what you’re doing and pushing yourself less.
Remember that your body can’t handle as much work as you are giving it, so stick to lighter exercises and gradually increase the amount of time you spend working out.
2. Bouncing up and down
The second mistake you should avoid doing is bouncing up and down during your exercises. If you jump during your warm-ups and exercises, you will force your body to adapt to the stress and will make it more likely to injuries.
By jumping during your routine, you put tremendous stress on your knees, hips and back. This will cause you to lose muscle in these areas.
3. Holding onto the balls of your feet
The third mistake you should avoid doing narrow squats is holding onto the balls of your feet. Your feet should be kept parallel to the ground throughout your routine. If you keep your feet flat against the floor, you will give your knees and hips more support, which is exactly what you don’t want to do.
If you are looking for knee pain relief. Make sure you have your feet flat and parallel to the ground is critical.
4. Using too much abdominal or hamstring lifting
The fourth mistake you should avoid doing is using too much abdominal or hamstring lifting. These types of lifting will actually strain your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Professional athletes typically use this type of exercise to get knee pain relief.
Unfortunately, this type of exercise does not provide much help for the average person. Abdominal exercises will definitely help you tone your abdominal muscles, but you should also focus on other exercises to strengthen your legs.
5. overextending narrow squats
The fifth mistake you should avoid doing is overextending yourself during your workout routines. You may be doing hundreds of repetitions of a single exercise, but if you do not protect yourself, you will experience a severe injury.
Keep your legs at least six inches away from the wall when working out. If possible, place them on a chair when you cannot be directly on the floor. By avoiding these five mistakes, you can achieve a much safer and more effective knee pain relief.
Once you know about the benefits of doing the narrow squats, you will want to continue to do them consistently so that you can start seeing the results you want.
The last thing that you need to remember is that you will need to take your time with this workout so that you are not rushing things and making it more difficult than what it has to be.
Make sure that you do not go too fast and try to cut your workout time in half to get the best out of your workout time. In addition, you are also going to need to remember that when you first start, you may not get the results that you are looking for.
However, if you stick with it and work hard on this workout, you will be surprised at just how good you feel and what new muscles you will be able to gain!
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