Let’s Start with the Basics, How to Squat:
Ah, the bodyweight squat. It’s a definite fundamental exercise in any fitness enthusiast’s repertoire. Once you have the basics down there are a whole host of variations you can use to keep the exercise relevant and interesting.
This exercise is great for a beginner, or someone with Atrial Fibrillation. The movement is slow enough to not spike the heart rate too much, and it still gives your quadriceps a nice workout.
Here is a link to the video I did in December on bodyweight squats:
Now Let’s Talk About the Overhead Press:
I love a good overhead press. It is a fabulous exercise that is a compound, full body movement. The legs and core are engaged to help keep the body balanced and stable while the weight is being pressed over the head. Additionally, the act of pressing dumbbells, or a barbell, over your head means more of your smaller stabilizer muscles are being engaged in order to complete the movement- so you may find that you press less weight than you are used to lifting. This is a good thing, we want to strengthen both the large and small muscle groups so the body has more functionality in a variety of movements both inside and outside the gym.
Creating this functional balance means you get more bang for your workout, and can enjoy your life more fully outside of the gym.
How to Perform a Squat to Overhead Press:
- Grab some dumbbells and stand tall with your feet hip or shoulder width apart.
- Place the dumbbells at your shoulders with the elbows pointed towards the floor and your palms facing the sides of your head. Keep your feet pointed straight in front of you, and if it helps to keep your center of gravity over your heels you can lift your toes slightly.
- Tighten your knees, hips and legs while slowly lowering yourself down and back like you are going to sit down in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Note: Your booty will be pretty far back behind you, and that’s perfectly alright. Your knees should be relatively straight over your feet/ankles, and NEVER farther forward than your toes.
- Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Make sure your knees stay over your ankles and do not shift forward over your toes, or angle inward toward each other. Try to keep the shins straight.
- As you return to a standing position, press the dumbbells straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended.
- Hold this position for a second and then bring the arms back to their starting position.
- Repeat this movement for 10-15 reps and 3 sets as a part of your lower body workout.
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