Squats For Women — Flavia’s Tight Tush Secret Weapon post image

Squats For Women — Flavia’s Tight Tush Secret Weapon

Female fitness sensation Flavia Del Monte is back to talk about bodyweight squats. This is a simple but incredibly effective exercise for women who want to round out the development of their derrière and create sleek, healthy looking legs.

In case you missed Flavia’s previous guest appearances, check out Push Ups For Women and Pull Ups For Women. They were both huge hits in BodyweightCoach Land!

A lot of women are scared of muscle, so they focus mostly on cardio. But it’s muscle which gives form to those key body parts that define your “shape”. And the glutes (the butt muscles) are a perfect example. You can whittle away at fat until Ryan takes his final sip of gin (Adam – yeah, as if that’ll ever happen), but you still won’t achieve that round feminine derrière unless you’ve got the right muscular development to support it.

One of the best exercises to build a beautiful butt is the squat. And the best place to start learning perfect squat technique is with the bodyweight version. Squats, when done right, provide incredible recruitment of the glutes and hamstrings (the back of the leg) while also putting the quadriceps to work (the front of the leg). This means great overall leg development in one tight little package!

Let’s take a look…

Thanks Flavia!

Here are the key cues for squats:

  • Start by sending your butt back (break at the waist)
  • Then bend at the knees to drop your butt back and down towards the ground
  • Keep your weight on your heels
  • Keep your spine long and your low back neutral
  • Go as low as you can while keeping spine long
  • Keep your chest up and eyes forward
  • Drive through the heels to come back to standing

Once you’re comfortable with bodyweight squats, you can work them into your training in many different ways. Try doing them super slow — 5 seconds down and 5 seconds up — to promote “the burn” and increase the amount of fat burning growth hormone you release during your workout. You can do super fast bodyweight squats (with good technique) to increase your fast twitch muscle fiber recruitment. This will increase insulin sensitivity and help you shuttle more fuel to muscles and less to fat. You can also use them as active rest between sets of other bodyweight exercises like push ups, v-ups, pull ups and any other “-ups” you can think of.

What about weight? Sure! By all means add weight to your squats once you master the movement. You can hold weights by your side for dumbbell squats or progress onto barbell squats. Taking the time to master the basics of the squat will pay off in spades. This is truly a universal human movement. We were made to squat — you just have to look at kids in a playground for proof…

Do you perform enough squats in your training? What’s YOUR tight tush secret? What’s your favourite lower body exercise? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have any questions for Flavia, she’ll be keeping an eye on the comments too. :)

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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • Julia April 9, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Best kept lower body secret has to be “bowing lunges.” Start with your feet together and do alternating lunges, starting your set at 12 oclock. As you lunge with hands clasped behind your back, “bow” over each leg, until your body is parallel to the ground, then return. I try and have my clients do a few sets per session, some at 12 oclock, some at 10 and 2 oclock and some at 9 and 3. You will feel quad, glute and hamstring recruitment…it’s a shredder, but a good one ;-)

    Reply
    • Adam April 9, 2011, 4:18 pm

      Thanks Julia! :)

      Reply
  • Sue April 10, 2011, 12:49 am

    Julia, not sure I understand how to do bowing lunges – is there a video?

    So when you point you feet out to the side does it work more the back of the upper thighs?

    Reply
  • Sue April 10, 2011, 12:49 am

    The point the feet out to the side was the squats I was referring to.

    Reply
  • cesqua April 10, 2011, 2:00 am

    my fave is definitely the stability ball leg curl!!

    Reply
  • Victoria FERAUGE April 10, 2011, 2:14 am

    LOVED the pull-ups and push-ups for women videos. This one is just as good. It was particularly useful for me because while I have been incorporating squats and lunges in my exercise program, I was uncertain about my form. Really helpful article, Flavia. Many thanks. :-)

    Reply
    • Flavia April 15, 2011, 11:48 pm

      Thanks Victoria!

      Reply
  • Matt April 10, 2011, 2:15 am

    Worse squat ever for personal trainer that bad form hips out first then knees bend she didn’t open her hip and didn’t go throw full R O M

    Reply
  • Ellie@fitforthesoul April 10, 2011, 2:28 am

    LOVE LOVE pullups–I just saw the pullup video and Flavia’s got some strength! I think that even starting with something simple and easier like the hanging knee raise increases arm strength so much that it helps with chinups and pullups, at least a little.

    Reply
  • Stacy April 10, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Hi Adam, I bought a Bob Harper DVD to get myself working hard. Well I did about 15min of the workout including the warm-up & now two days after I can now start walking more normally, is it because I am so out of shape or was I doing them wrong that my muscles are so sore? Thanks for any tips I really do want to get into shape but if I am doing stuff wrong then I am not going to benefit. Stacy

    Reply
  • Steve April 10, 2011, 4:07 pm

    I agree Matt, that squat is a shocker. Her spine does not remain neutral and she is not strong enough to go that low, its forcing her to hyperextend and put more stress her lubar spine.

    Reply
    • Flavia April 15, 2011, 11:49 pm

      LOL…I knew I would get slammed for my tight hip flexors, but that is all it is!

      Reply
  • Nancy April 10, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I would like to know what the best way to do a squat would be when you have knee problems. I used to hold a bar then place one leg in front of the other, and the back one bends until the knee almost touches the ground. I don’t think this does the same type of thing though that your squats are doing…

    suggestions?

    Reply
    • Flavia April 15, 2011, 11:54 pm

      Nope, sounds like you are doing lunges or split squats. I would apply the same technique I instructed, and stop when you feel as though going any deeper in the squat would cause stress on your knees. Once you feel pressure on your knees, stop, and go to the start position. Heavy weights can also apply a lot of pressure…drop the weight if your knees are feeling any discomfort.

      Reply
  • Juan P Beltran April 10, 2011, 9:12 pm

    I love the pistol squat for developing my glutes. I use a rope or a chair for help. I know adam can do it easily. I still have hard time doing it but I’m getting better at it.

    Reply
    • Flavia April 15, 2011, 11:55 pm

      Adam has amazing strength!

      Reply
  • joe April 10, 2011, 11:26 pm

    I thought squates were more for the quads or front and side parts of the leg and dead lifts hit the back of the legs and glutes more?

    Reply
    • Flavia April 15, 2011, 11:57 pm

      True, but squats also hit your hamstrings and glutes. If you are focusing on your hamstrings in a certain workout….think about your hamstrings working that day. Focusing on what muscle you are working makes that muscle activate over an opposing one…although all the muscles are still being used (glutes, hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves and even lower back)

      Reply
  • Tina April 11, 2011, 11:24 pm

    I think it’s nice that you’re trying to get females for guest coaches, and I applaud Flavia for being willing to help others and get involved like her husband, but I would encourage you to stick with professional trainers.

    Reply
    • Flavia April 15, 2011, 11:59 pm

      Hey Tina,

      Not too sure what you mean by professional trainers….I refer to myself as a professional trainer. I am a certified personal trainer, certified nutritionist and a registered nurse. We already covered that!

      Reply
  • Victoria April 16, 2011, 1:58 am

    And if I were brutally honest, I really could use a certified personal trainer like Flavia. I’ve been pretty much “just doing it” for the last couple of years at home. Alas there is no gym near where I live and I’ve never met a personal trainer in my country of residence.

    So I really appreciate having Flavia answering questions on-line for free in a domain where she obviously knows more than I do AND in a field where she is usually compensated for her time and expertise.

    Reply
  • beginners workout April 16, 2011, 8:46 am

    Do you have a suggestion for those who are older, significantly overweight, or both? Perhaps an idea for those who aren’t quite ready for unassisted squats but hope to work up to it? Many thanks, your videos are very helpful.

    Reply
  • Teo April 28, 2011, 4:29 am

    I cant view the video ‘Squats for Women’. Am i missing something here.

    Reply
    • Adam April 28, 2011, 5:43 am

      Hi Teo,
      It’s an embedded Youtube video. You must be missing a browser plugin…
      Cheers,
      Adam

      Reply
  • Brisbane Osteo July 11, 2011, 3:53 am

    I thought it was a very good video and good explanations! Spot on!

    Reply
  • automatic weapons license September 5, 2011, 11:07 am

    Most people in our gym dont want to do squats do to lower back problems. Of course, most people don’t know how to properly do a squat. all of you points, about the squat are right on. We teach out clients how to preform the squats and incorporate them everyday.

    Reply
  • Extreme-Exercises.com October 25, 2011, 5:20 pm

    Good basic exercise. I like doing different inversions of the squat for developing the butt. Here’s a workout I bring my wife through which kills: http://extreme-exercises.com/quick-brutal-5-minute-body-weight-leg-workout/

    Reply

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