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Title image:  Getting ready for expeditions, resources and tips

Training for Travel with Personal Trainer Terri Truman

Body Squats

We have been talking about what to eat, how to stay hydrated and how to keep your core strong but now we are ready to get started with a few exercises that may supplement your training schedule.

Terri’s workout techniques will help take you to the summit!

Terri’s workout techniques will help take you to the summit!

When starting off with a destination in mind we will want to have our lower body ready for the trip ahead. Of course nothing will take the place of actually getting outside to train, but this may help when it’s just not available to you.

As much as I love anything that gets people moving, particularly squatting, technique is the thing that will help you reach your goals, not multiples of squats that would be just too difficult for most people. Even if you could do 100 squats with perfect form, you will be training for muscular endurance rather than strength (which is what leads to the toned look). It’s the same reason you wouldn’t do 50+ reps of an exercise in the gym.

Instead, the focus should be on fewer, quality reps that get tougher over time (like using heavier weights in the gym). Trying different kinds of squats will challenge you and give you the best possible chance of safely getting a toned butt and thighs, along with improving your technique. This is how it works:

Focusing primarily on Quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes Movement – Hip extension and knee extension

  • You can do a different squat variation each week for a month but the variations get more difficult as the month progresses.
  • Each day has a target number or reps for which you should aim. You can do them all in one go or spread them out throughout the day.
  • If you fail to reach the target number of reps with perfect form you must go back to the beginning of that 7 day period.
  • You may not have heard of each variation, so how to do them properly is explained below.

Counterbalance Box Squat:

  • With your feet shoulder width apart and angled out slightly, keep your chest up and arms out in front of you as a counterbalance. Knees and hips should be slightly flexed, while the spine and neck are held in a neutral position
  • Sit back and down onto a surface, such as a chair or stool. Let your butt touch the surface, but don’t sit down.
  • As you descend make sure your knees are tracking over your toes.
  • Return to the starting position by pushing through your heels and squeezing your glutes.

Day 1 – 20 reps

Day 2 – 30 reps

Day 3 – rest

Day 4 – 20 reps

Day 5 – 30 reps

Day 6 – 40 reps

Day 7 - rest

Prisoner Box Squat:

  • Keeping the tips from above in mind, place your hands behind your head rather than out in front of you.
  • Use a lower chair or stool than before to make sure you are squatting deeper.
  • Over time keep lowering the surface until your thighs are parallel to the ground when in the lowest position.

Day 8 – 30 reps

Day 9 – 40 reps

Day 10 – rest

Day 11 – 30 reps

Day 12 – 40 reps

Day 13 – 50 reps

Day 14 - rest

Counterbalance Air Squat:

  • Remove the chair or stool and put your arms out in front of you.
  • Squat down as before, ensuring that your thighs are parallel to the ground. The deeper you squat the more muscles you activate.
  • Remember to keep your torso as upright as possible by keeping your chest up.

Day 15 – 20 reps

Day 16 – 30 reps

Day 17 – rest

Day 18 – 20 reps

Day 19 – 30 reps

Day 20 – 40 reps

Day 21 - rest

Prisoner Air Squat:

  • Put your hands behind your head once again and continue squatting as low as you can.
  • Remember: chest up, feet shoulder width apart, knees tracking over toes, sit back, and push through your heels.
  • By the end of the month, you should be able to do a basic bodyweight squat with great form.

Day 22 – 30 reps

Day 23 – 40 reps

Day 24 – rest

Day 25 – 30 reps

Day 26 – 40 reps

Day 27 – 50 reps

Day 28 – rest

As with all exercises, they should never be painful… if your knees or joints begin to hurt, STOP the exercise and either adjust your stance, re-assess the exercise for your situation or discontinue. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Be good to yourself and try something else if this is not for you. Hopefully you can use these tips to train for the mountain trips ahead.