the 25 day squat challenge
Here at The Bridge, we love a challenge. Whether in a studio class or outside of the gym setting, we’re always in healthy competition.
For those of us ready to take on a new and structured challenge, we need look no further than the 4th floor of The Bridge to our women only gym. Rising out of the running machines and barbells is a wall of beautiful whiteboard, which proudly displays the challenge of the month. Each challenge has been carefully crafted by one of our Health and Wellbeing Trainers and is updated regularly to inspire fresh workout combinations for gym members and the wider fitness community.
This month, our H&W Trainer, Sam, created and shared the ‘25 Day Squat Challenge’.
the challenge: to squat a lot
Squats can build muscle, strength and increase flexibility in the body (and once you have built the solid foundation for a squat, there are also many variations you can add to your own workout). In this squat challenge, there are three levels to choose from to make it as accessible as possible; beginner, intermediate and advanced. The aim is to push yourself to improve through the workouts (but without force or pain). If you need advice on which level you should begin with, please speak to any of our trainers who would be happy to get you started.
When you’re ready to go, then the challenge is set! The days are listed down the left side to keep you on track and help you build up to over 100 (or maybe 200!) squats by the end of the 25 days. Remember to observe the rest days scheduled, as they are as important as the squats in seeing positive results for your body.
how to squat safely
This challenge is based on body-weight squats. You may find it comfortable to have your arms held straight out in front of you, parallel to the ground when completing your squats for stability. The vital thing to remember when completing any squat exercise is to keep your spine in a neutral position (i.e. don’t round your spine or push in on the natural arch of your back). A neutral spine will ensure your full body muscles are engaged and you’ll avoid putting pressure on your back.
check your feet: ground through both feet and ensure each foot is pointing straight ahead and is fully connected to the floor when you’re in the standing position before squatting down. Start with your feet hip distance apart.
engage your full body: don’t rely on one area of your body specifically, for example you should not feel pressure on your back when squatting.
send your hips backwards as your knees begin to bend: start with the motion of your hips going backwards as if taking a seat, and not by bending your knees.
keep your back straight, with your spine neutral and your chest and shoulders up: looking straight ahead when squatting will help with balance and will help ensure that you are doing the squat correctly.
focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet: it is very important to ensure that your knees track in line with your feet. Ensure the knees don’t fall outwards or push inward towards the centre. You should be able to just about see your toes - if they disappear, you’ve gone too far.
squat down until your hip joint are lowered: your hips should be down as close as you can to parallel without straining your body.
don’t forget to breathe and come back up slowly to standing: breathing out as you come back up can help push you back to a standing position.
If you’re in any doubt over your form when completing the squat or your own level of health & fitness, please speak to a member of the Health and Wellbeing Team in the gym or a health professional before starting on the challenge. Click here or on the video screenshot below to view the full video of our Health and Wellbeing Trainer, Sam, doing Day 1 of the advanced level squat challenge. Hopefully it both motivates you to start and illustrates good technique.
You can check out her progress on our social media or speak to any of our trainers about the challenge. Even though we are doing this challenge through February ‘19, the beauty of all the challenges we set is that they can be started anytime and we welcome you to go for it at your own pace.
Check back onto our newsfeed in March to find out the next challenge.