Squats are an important part of any workout, not only building leg muscles but also quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. They also provide an anabolic aspect to your workout, improving overall muscle building.
If you have realized how important squats are in your workout, you may be surprised to learn that adding box squats can not only bring added benefits to your workout routine but it could also improve your squatting technique overall.
What Are Box Squats?
A box squat is a weight-lifting technique with a box or bench placed behind you. The goal is to aim for a box height for a parallel squat, but you can train with a box that is higher or lower depending on your training. With the weight across your shoulders, you lower yourself to a sitting position until you are seated on the box, pause and then lift yourself up again without bouncing.
Benefits of Box Squats
Box squats offer significant benefits in a workout. The biggest benefit is that it can actually improve your squatting technique. Often, people squat by initiating the knees and not the hips which can overload the quads and increasing the chance of injury. By forcing yourself to “sit back” on the bench, you put more pressure on your hips, relieving the pressure on your knees.
With a box squat, you also tend to take a wider than shoulder stance while holding the bar lower and your knees over your toes. This further increases the stress on glutes, hamstrings and your lower back.
Pausing on the box also forces you to rise from a dead stop rather than “bouncing,” increasing posterior chain power.
Athletes also tend to cheat depth in squats as their weight level rises so a box squat keeps you from doing that. Box squats force you to tighten your body in order to come off the box, getting more benefits from the lift.
How to Box Squat
Begin a box squat by standing in a power rack with the box behind you. Step under the bar and place it across your shoulders then squeeze your shoulder blades together, rotating your elbows forward as if you were bending the bar across your shoulders. Create a tight arch in your lower back, lift the bar and step back, your head facing forward. Push your knees and butt out, then start to lower your body. Sit back until your butt is seated on the bench, shins perpendicular to the ground. Pause, relax your hip flexors and then, with your weight on your heels, push your feet and knees out, pushing upward. Lead the movement with our head, continuing up until you reach your starting position.
Box squats can increase the value of your leg workout but can also improve your squat technique overall. The key is to learn how to do the box squat correctly and to continue using free squatting in order to get a good overall workout. Learn more workout techniques by subscribing to my YouTube channel.
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By RunThaCity — 1 year ago
So, you want a sculpted, muscular physique? First, ask yourself what your prime motivation for this is, because if it’s solely for aesthetic purposes, this could be mentally unhealthy – body image is a complicated thing, as is the social pressure on it.
That said, if healthy and self-confidence is your main motivation, what’s wrong with looking good while living a healthy lifestyle? The thing is, people oversimplify the human body when they consider the effects and implications of exercise. Well, that’s not really surprising, the “why and how” of this is only guaranteed knowledge if you’re either a fitness professional, a medical professional, or a biologist.
Unfortunately, to get the most out of your exercise and diet regimen, and most efficiently achieve that swole look, you kind of need to understand it. Specifically in this case, you need to understand anaerobic respiration, basic metabolism, and the concept of hypertrophy.
While it may sound like a bonus prize better than first place, hypertrophy is a biological/medical phenomenon wherein muscles are stressed in various way (and to an extent, damaged), thus increasing the density and cross section of muscle present.
Proper exercise intended for body building and muscle gain, induces hypertrophy. Here’s the thing though, hypertrophy, and the things that induce it, will hurt. You will experience fatigue, soreness, cramps and just general aches and pains from it.
Well, the old saying goes, no pain no gain, right? We’ll talk in a minute about how this is induced, but let’s talk about the two scientific phenomena taking place during hypertrophy, and how it results in increased muscle volume and density.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in what’s known as sarcoplasm. This is a fluid volume inside muscles, that gives it that kind of “jelly” fluidic nature while relaxed. This creates muscular bulk, but being noncontractile, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy doesn’t increase strength per se. It is however necessary for the function and tensile power of your muscular tissue.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is the increase of myofibrils, which are the thread-like contractile components which actually do the mechanical work. The increase of these is the increase in actual physical strength.
It is important to achieve the proper balance of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophies, though generally, the body manages that on its own. However, if you see increasing muscle mass, but the expected strength increase intended to come along with it isn’t present, you may need to see a dietitian or even a physician, because something may be wrong.
Before we go over the ways to stimulate this, I want to again emphasize that some of this can be dangerous if you don’t do it properly. Consult your physician, and use your best judgment with this. Seriously, stressing your body can be dangerous!
Progressive Tension Overload
This sounds fancy and complex, but in all reality, it’s just what any good lifting regimen does – increase what you can and do lift over time, stressing your muscles and causing them to grow. Some of the best are curls, deadlifts, squats, military presses and bench presses. While the more dramatic increase in reps and lifts you can do will be logarithmically proportional to the resulting hypertrophy, this is where the being careful I talked about comes into play.
It’s commonly said that you have to break muscles to make muscles. This is actually completely true. This is also why constructive exercise is painful – you’re breaking the myofibrils and losing some of your sarcoplasm by overexerting your muscles.
When the body takes damage, it will reactively begin building more tissue to replace what was lost, or to bridge gaps formed by strain. While some tissues don’t heal gracefully (hence scarred skin, and misshapen bones that weren’t set right), muscle is very good at healing itself in an effective and constructive way.
On top of tension stress/breakage, there’s also metabolic stress. This is where anaerobic versus aerobic respiration comes into play. Anaerobic respiration involves little to no exercise (where aerobic is very oxygen-heavy). Most lifts and similar exercises are anaerobic, and since anaerobic respiration is less efficient and more stressful, muscles are strained by it, causing them to “double up” to better handle the stress of it all.
On a side note, anaerobic respiration produces lactic acid, which causes that really sore feeling you get from an effective work out, where a burning sensation comes from broken muscle.
You can make induction of hypertrophy safer by reducing the physical extremeness of it with supplements that let muscles rebuild faster, and stimulate muscle growth naturally.
You may have heard some bad things about creatine, but seriously, it’s all bunk. Creatine has been clinically proven to be harmless, and effective. Creatine will help boost sarcoplasmic hypertrophy as well as stimulate more effective respiration all around. It also abates the soreness of lactic acid production, which quite nice.
Muscle has to have raw materials to build with, and that means protein. Protein powders are an excellent way to deliver this rich nutrient to your body, while eliminating fats and other undesired things that come from animal protein.
To learn more about hypertrophy, and the science behind supplements and exercises, subscribe to my YouTube channel today!Post Views: 1,545
By RunThaCity — 3 years ago
There is only one magic formula to gaining weight and it requires that you eat more calories than your body burns. If you are finding it difficult to gain weight despite the fact you think you eat a lot, it is possible you are not creating a calorie surplus. If you are struggling to gain weight, these tips can help you understand what may be happening.
Why You’re Not Gaining Weight
If you are naturally skinny, you may think you can eat anything you want without gaining. You may claim you have a fast metabolism or that you simply don’t digest food the way heavier people do. You may believe you are constantly stressed which can lead to weight loss or that there is some medical condition that leads you to stay thin. However, there is truly only one explanation for staying thin and that is that you aren’t eating as much as you think you are. Track your calories for one week using an app like MyFitnessPal or something similar. It is highly likely you will find that you are not gaining weight because you are eating fewer calories than you are burning.
Somatotypes: Is Your Body Type Important
Your body type does play a part in how easily you gain or lose weight. People with high metabolisms do exist and it is possible you are not gaining because you are very active. Many people who have difficulty gaining fidget more than those who do not, research indicates. If you have a small frame, you may still have difficulty gaining because your body is not built to be big. Even if you have a small frame, have difficulty gaining due to activity or your metabolism is higher than others, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. The key is to eat more calories than you burn consistently in order to see results.
How to Gain Weight
There are several ways to increase your calorie intake in order to gain weight. You can add more calories to each meal or add additional meals. Add calorie-dense food to your diet such as dried fruits, nuts or pasta. Blended food digests easier than food you have to chew, so add smoothies to your diet. One of the best smoothies includes oats, milk, banana, peanut butter and whey protein. Just as overweight people underestimate what they eat, skinny people overestimate what they eat. Track your calories each day to see what you are consuming. Consider a fitness tracker, such as a FitBit or Garmin, to track both calories and activity each day. Add squats and deadlifts with free weights to your workout to help you gain.
- Eat More
- Eat More Meals
- Eat Calorie Dense Foods
- Eat More Protein
- Drink Shakes
- Track Your Calories
- Lift Heavy (But Safely)
- Be Consistent
The Importance of Nutrition
Eating more calories than you burn will help you gain weight, but not just any calories. You want to be sure to choose healthy options, like whole grains as well as lean meats and dairy. Start by adding 500 calories per day than you are burning. If you are not gaining as you’d like, add more calories, but do so slowly to avoid building belly fat. You need to be consistent as it is the daily average calorie intake that determines true weight gain.
You Need to Eat More Protein
Increase the amount of protein you eat each day, such as chicken, fish and eggs. Add 1 gram of protein per pound of body-weight per day to build muscle and for recovery. Some of the best protein options include steaks, ground round, chicken breasts and thighs as well as tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines. Eggs are good source of protein as are dairy products like milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.
Top Protein Sources:
- Steaks, Ground Beef
- Chicken Breast
- Turkey Breast
- Ground Turkey
- Eggs or Egg Whites
Eat More Meals Throughout the Day
Small meals are easier to manage than large meals, so aim for six to seven small meals per day rather than three. Start by waking up earlier and eating breakfast. Too often, skinny people eat nothing for breakfast which means they are getting no calories before noon. You need at least eight hours sleep, so that leaves you only 16 hours to eat each day. Start with breakfast around 7 AM, adding a snack 10 AM. Lunch should be around 1 PM, another snack around 4 PM and then dinner around 7 PM. Keep in mind these are not large, more than 1,000 calorie meals, but smaller meals that are between 500 and 700 calories.
What You Should Eat
Choose foods that are high in calories and nutrition. Although vegetables are healthy, they do not have many calories. Keep vegetables in your diet for their nutritional value and fat-burning properties, but if you want to gain weight, you also need to add foods like nuts, dried fruit, dairy, grains, potatoes, fats and meat. Try to avoid junk food even though it is high in calories. McDonald’s food is calorie-dense, but also contains significant amounts of fat, sugar and sodium. Although eating chips, cookies, fries and ice cream may add calories, it can lead to extra fat around your belly. That does not mean you can never eat at McDonald’s or enjoy a cold beer every now and then. The best rule of thumb is 90 percent quality food and 10 percent junk food.
Lifting helps trigger muscle mass building in your body so you want to include lifting weights in your workout. Lifting also increases your appetite helping you to eat more. If you eat more than you burn, lifting keeps food from being stored as fat. Use free weights which are more effective and safer than machines. Include compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press and rows. Always try to lift more than you did in your last workout and be sure your form is correct. Your body needs rest, so don’t do more than three full body workouts each week.
Supplements for the Skinny Guy
Blending food in liquid form helps you digest it more quickly. You can make your own weight gainer shakes by combining:
- 100g Oats
- 1 Banana
- 1 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 300ml Whole Milk
- 2 scoops Whey Protein
Mix everything in a blender for 1048 calories, 120g carbs, 80g protein and 28g fat. Avoid processed weight gainer shakes as they are often full of sugars. If you aren’t a fan of smoothies, simply drink whole milk.
These tips and suggestions are designed for people who have difficulty gaining weight when working out. For more tips on workouts, nutrition and weight, subscribe to my YouTube Channel.Post Views: 3,825
By RunThaCity — 1 year ago
There are scores of workout and fitness attire merchants out there. You could probably name a number of them right off the top of your head. Some of these manufacturers and designers make workout clothing that is, frankly, not making the cut. Or its too expensive and restrictive to really make purchasing it worthwhile.
But if you’re looking for a new style for the gym that looks sharp without weighing you down or getting in the way of your movement, then you should check out Born Tough.
About Born Tough
Born Tough (BT) is a new brand. A new style. These are people who are making clothing for the modern day warrior, from the recreational runners to the elite athletes. As long as you want functional clothing for your functional fitness, then you are ready to make a switch to clothing that accelerates your training instead of holding you back.
Born Tough makes minimalist exercise gear that tackles the old-age concept that sportswear should be baggy, disproportional or, on the other hand, clingy and uncomfortable. The clothing is designed for all body types and fits like a second skin. This allows both men and women to bend, twist, dance, jump, and run without needing to think about how they look. Born Tough clothing is stylish yet subdued, so you look ready for the gym, coffee, lounging, or travel all the time.
What makes Born Tough clothing a clear competitor in today’s market, however, is not just the look and feel. The designers have paid extreme attention to the details, including the need for technology. A lot of exercise clothing continues to ignore pockets deep enough for cell phones and mp3 players, headphone wires, and the like. Born Tough clothing integrates these features into their designs, so you can keep your important tech close without getting literally wrapped up in it.
A Look At Born Tough Products
I checked out the Born Tough Core Fit Short Sleeve, made with BT’s signature “Swift fabric,” which makes it lightweight and breathable for intense workouts in the gym. I tried it on and the fit is perfect. There’s nothing I would change about the construction, styling, or sizing. The shirt has an overlay, so it looks seamless. Additionally, the extended scallop hem prevents any embarrassing bunches or riding up from happening as you do your squats and other lower body exercises. Twists and turns couldn’t make this shirt ride up either.
Here’s a glimpse at the features of the Core Fit t-shirt:
- True to size
- 93% cotton and 7% modal spandex
- Flatlock seams
- Extended scallop hem
- 3M reflective logo on the back
- Ideal for a base layer
- Stretchable, breathable, and lightweight
- Minimalist design
- 30-day money back guarantee on all products
Presently, there’s more for men than for women. Men can look at a number of tops, bottoms, sleepwear, hoodies, and sweatshirts. Women have hoodies and sweatpants that come as a track set or separately. The inventory is growing, though, so there is bound to be more options for women in the future.
You can also get free shipping and free returns, too.
New brands who try to reshape the face of the fitness apparel industry always bring some excitement to the table, but Born Tough is already making a statement. The quality of the gear, the decent price, and the attention to detail are three things that make these products a smart purchase.
You don’t want miss what this company has in store.
Looking for more info and tips on fitness apparel? Then head over to my YouTube channel and hit the subscribe button. There’s plenty of videos for you to get and stay informed about what’s new in fitness.Post Views: 1,691