Shaping your legs inside allows you to show them off outside.

How to Do Squats at Home

by Kimberly Caines

Just because you're a mom, it doesn't mean you can't have a fit physique. Being a mom is a full-time job and sometimes you might not have the time to rush to the gym for a workout. Doing exercises at home can help you maintain your sanity and your shape. Squats, for instance, can help firm your legs and tush and increase muscle tissue so you burn more calories. Squats also challenge your core muscles. For optimal results and safety, proper form is a must.

1 Walk or jog around the room for five minutes to get your blood flowing and to warm-up your muscles so they are more pliable. This reduces your risk of injury. Pump your arms back and forth and exaggerate your leg movement so you start breathing faster and can actually feel your body getting warmer.

2 Position yourself sideways in front of a mirror with your feet hip-width apart, your toes forward, your arms at your sides and your shoulders pulled back and down. Although it is optional, having the mirror is beneficial, because it allows you to monitor your form while you are doing the exercise.

3 Tighten your tummy to stabilize your back, and then, bend your knees and push your hips back. Slowly lower your buttocks down as you count to two. Pretend you're sitting down on a chair. Face forward and place your weight on your heels. If you're new to squats, only go as low as you feel comfortable. As you get more flexible and familiar with the range of motion, lower yourself deeper until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

4 Glance into the mirror to check your form. Your knees should be facing the same direction your toes are pointing. Really sit your buttocks back to keep your knees from going forward and passing over your toes. Avoid rounding or arching your back -- keep it straight. Wiggle your toes to ensure your weight is on your heels.

5 Push through your heels and straighten your knees and hips to return to an upright stance. Squeeze your buttocks at the top of the movement before starting the next repetition. Work your way up to three sets, with eight to 12 repetitions in each set.

Items you will need

  • Mirror (optional)

Tips

  • If you have problems balancing while you squat, extend your arms forward as you move, hold onto the back of a chair or lightly slide your back down and up a wall.
  • Exhale as you come out of the squat and inhale as you lower into it.
  • For an extra challenge, hold the squat at the bottom as you count to two. Or, from the bottom of the movement, explosively jump up as high as you can. You may also hold a dumbbell or a heavy book in each hand while you squat.
  • To understand perfect form for the exercise, place a chair behind you and actually touch the edge of the seat as you sit down into the squat. The lower the chair, the harder it will be to do the exercise
  • For variety, place your feet shoulder-width apart or wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly out. A wider stance challenges your inner thighs more while a narrow stance emphasizes the front of your thighs.

Warning

  • Consult a doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you've been inactive or have a health condition or injury.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images