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ADIOSALL Posts: 5,197
8/8/13 5:12 A

I sneak in about 8 sets of 20 squats whenever I go to the bathroom during the day and it's lifted my bottom and toned it. I'm 51.

M4GGIE_B Posts: 180
8/8/13 4:51 A

yes. i build them in either on their own or with dumbells 3x week.

DUSTYPRAIRIE Posts: 11,125
8/6/13 6:53 A

I am trying to build a new habit. A set of squats here and there throughout the day. With fibro there are days I cannot get through a full workout so this is one way to get a little strength training into my day. Mind you, a set for me is between 5-12.

Everyone is different!

JELLYTUMMY SparkPoints: (538)
Fitness Minutes: (339)
Posts: 12
8/6/13 6:10 A

TACDGB, you gave me hope that my butt will look better than now thanks to squats :) I did squats today, but I didn't believe in their power untill you told me the story. By the way, greetings to your neighbour!

HEALTHYLADY12 Posts: 544
8/6/13 12:51 A

yea i do 29 min squats that incorperate that

WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
8/5/13 11:30 P

Well, this is all so very helpful and informative - many thanks for your input everyone.

I realise I have somewhat hijacked this thread, so I can only hope that the OP is also following it and gaining knowledge and help in the same way that I am!

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
8/5/13 2:19 P

Waycat - another option is using a hex bar for squats rather than a straight barbell. Like M@L's suggestion, this will concentrate the weight lower on your body. The bar looks something like this:
__/ \__

and weight plates go on either end so your body is in the center and you hold onto the bar a grip points on either side of you rather than in front of you.

Edit: sorry if the graphic is messed up, the preview window isn't previewing :P

Edited by: LEC358 at: 8/5/2013 (14:19)
8/5/13 2:13 P

(do as sergeantmajor says!--)I have been doing squats with a 25 lb kettlebell, OMG!!! It works you HARD! I do it as part of my kettlebell routine and can only do about 20 at a time so far. I hold the kb with both hands(on the ball part not the handle) close to my body, squat and the rise again and do a two-handed overhead press. burning glutes, thighs, abs, arms, EVERYTHING. you will feel and see a difference pretty fast. You can also use a small child if you dont have a kettlebells. my one yr old weighs 23 lbs and i started off using him. he thought it was fun :)

8/5/13 12:46 P

Another alternative for weighted squats is to do goblet squats with a dumbbell or kettlebell.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
8/5/13 12:02 P


As I read about your balance issues, I was about to suggest a mirror, and then I got to the final paragraph.

But if you do have balance issues, then holding the dumbbells lower down your body might give you a lower center of gravity, and make balancing easier. Demo at


WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
8/5/13 11:04 A

JENNILACEY - thanks so much for the info and advice. Really appreciate it.

At the gym this morning, there were no big burly chaps hogging the free weights area for a pleasant change! So I hopped right in there are my cardio and did my squats holding a dumb bell above each shoulder with my arms bent - much like the starting position of a shoulder press.

I did 3 sets of standard squats and then 3 sets of wide legged squats and have to say I really felt as if it was working for me.

I do have balance problems, being deaf in one ear, so squatting deep is a challenge - often I go off balance and end up wobbling backwards a bit. That happened at first, but soon I was able to squat comfortably and with no balance trouble atall.

Having a mirror in front of me helped no end. I was able to really watch myself (not a pretty sight!) and get my form down right - but I think next time I shall ask on of the gym staff to have a look, just to be totally sure I'm doing things right

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
8/5/13 8:32 A

WAYCAT- Barbells simply allow more weight to be used than dumbbells. If you're not at the level yet where you need the extra weight, then using dumbbells should be fine. As long as you are reaching muscle fatigue in the general, 8-12 reps.

Doing squats with a barbell and not having a either a squat bar or a spotter is probably a bit dangerous to attempt. I have to get my husband to spot and assist me during barbell squats.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/5/2013 (08:35)
WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
8/4/13 11:43 P

I've tried barbell squats but seem to struggle to hold the bar comfortably - I've tried it across my shoulders, and also down in front of me with both a forward and backward grip. None of these seem to work for me.

So would it be as beneficial to hold two dumb bells down either side and squat like that? I would probably hold 8kg dumb bells.

ROBBIEY SparkPoints: (405,353)
Fitness Minutes: (134,364)
Posts: 12,464
8/4/13 5:30 P

Yes, I do squats, but not at the gym on a machine. I do them at home using Kettle bells. I try to do them twice a week. I perform 2 x 25 regular squats going as far as I can go and then I do 2 x 25 plies. They have worked wonders for my thighs and butt.

DARRELLDHODGE SparkPoints: (9,814)
Fitness Minutes: (10,677)
Posts: 3
8/4/13 3:08 P


Squats are one of the most important exercises you can do if you are looking to get ripped. Squats will force you to use your core muscles for balance, making for an over all strong body. Second to squats would be the dead lift. My advise would be to include both into your workouts. On leg day, do squats one week and the next week, on leg day, do Dead-Lifts.

WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
8/3/13 11:45 P

DragonChile, and M&L - many thanks for your replies to my query.

I thought as much - the leg press machine is fine for working the muscles it specifically targets, but nothing beats free weights/body weight exercises for a better all round workout.

Guess I might mix and match both the machine and free weights and see how things go.

I do sometimes feel a bit of a twinge in my lower back when squatting and I'm pretty sure it's just a case of getting my form bang on, and then hopefully this problem will correct itself.

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
8/3/13 5:34 P

I have been doing squats for a year now. The neighbor man told me that my butt could stop traffic as it looks so nice. I didn't really have a butt until I was doing squats. I love sumo squats done with a dumb bell and squats done with a barbell.

MOINSDEMOI Posts: 2,409
8/3/13 3:14 P

I agree with MOTIVATED@LAST about squats being incredible for strength training. Normally I combine them with lunges, using ten pound weights for balance. Please make sure you are doing squats correctly or you can do some real damage to your knees.

I joined a Les Mills Body Pump class to learn the proper techniques for strength training and am definitely seeing some results. I love the class because it targets all the muscles in the body and the instructor is a stickler for proper form. She always emphasizes that what you put into your mouth has more to do with your overall appearance than exercise. Until you control your diet you won't see the results from exercise.

BTW, spinning really tones the quads. It also helps your glutes, if you wear spinning shoes and pull as much as push the pedals.

8/3/13 2:04 P

Please do a complete squat as far down as you can go. Stopping with the thighs parallel\l to the floor places maximum shear stress on the knee joint creating a potential for injury. The current research no longer condemns deep squats nor does it advocate parallel squats.

Leg press machines only work the quadriceps group and do not engage the glutes or the hamstrings. What it's supposed to do: Train quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. What it actually does: It often forces the spine to flex without engaging any of the necessary stabilization muscles of the hips, glutes, shoulders, and lower back.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,755
8/3/13 12:02 P

Squats and lunges are excellent exercises and should be a part of your routine. Several folks have explained the reasons below so I won't beat a dead horse.

DEIDRESH SparkPoints: (22,360)
Fitness Minutes: (7,441)
Posts: 526
8/3/13 7:00 A

I do squats and lunges. Although it seems as if it may be a lost cause its really not. You should begin to see definition in your legs within a few weeks. Also try taking measurements of your thighs. That will help show where you are losing. Gen rule of thumb is to take measurements every 4 weeks. You'll also see you core shrinking as well by doing squats. :) good luck

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
8/3/13 6:35 A


Machines run in a defined track, with lots of lateral support, so they are really only working the major muscles. Free and body weight exercises work a lot more smaller muscles to keep you stabilized or balanced.

While machines do allow you to potentially to lift more metal than with free or bodyweights, and also protect weaker muscles while recovering from injury, from the point of view of functional fitness, the broader range of muscles worked through free/bodyweights is a definite advantage.


DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
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Posts: 9,713
8/3/13 12:15 A

I also disagree with Barbanna. Doing squats will not target thigh fat nor "saddle bags." Why? Because your muscles draws their energy from the blood stream... not the surrounding fat stores. If you lost weight there while doing squats, you would have lost weight there anywhere. Where we lose is primarily determined by genetics and overall fat loss... not specific exercises.

Squats are great exercises, and will help you burn fat (since as M@L states, they're the largest muscle group) but won't specifically reduce thigh, leg, nor butt fat.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
8/3/13 12:13 A

Using a leg press machine will only build strength in that motion. Using regular squats, you're building core strength, balance, flexibility, range of motion, and more.

WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
8/2/13 11:41 P

This is really interesting for me right now, as I'm torn between barbell/dumb bell squats and the leg press machine at the gym.

I used to workout at home, and did a lot of dumb bell squats with overhead presses, etc... I would do standard squats and also wide leg (sumo) squats.

However, since re-joining the gym I've been using the leg press machine alot. I find that on the machine I can press 91kg, although of course it's just a leg press on it's own, so I don't get the added benefit of a compound exercise like adding in an overhead press like I used to do at home.

Would any one be able to tell me the benefits / draw backs of using the leg press machine over doing dumb bell squats? I can obviously leg press a much heavier weight, but I also realise that with squatting I would be engaging more muscles overall, thus perhaps making it a more effective exercise even though I wouldn't be able to squat 91kg?

Thanks for any advice or pointers!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
8/2/13 8:24 P

I disagree with Barbanna - you can't target where you lose weight from. Burning fat is an all-body process, and squats will not specifically target thigh fat.

However the quadriceps (thigh) and glutes (butt) are the largest muscles in the body, and this is where you are going to get the most bang for strength training buck. Squats are VERY effective strength training exercises, and are going to help boost your metabolism, and help you burn more calories throughout the day.

It's hard to think of any other exercise that is going to give you as much return in just 2 minutes as 2 sets of squats will.


BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
8/2/13 7:38 P

They can help to reduce your saddle bags or the fat on your thighs. I have gone from a 41" hip span down to 35.5" in 10 months. You also work on your knees, calves and abs as you do them. Make sure you avoid going too low as you can injure your knee joints. I combine squats with lateral shoulder raises, chest press and boxer raises/forward shoulder raises. I do lunges with bicep curls. This way you are more efficient in your exercises and work the core muscles.

These are really good for everyone.

Edited by: BARBANNA at: 8/2/2013 (19:42)
DEANNA0725 SparkPoints: (22,611)
Fitness Minutes: (13,947)
Posts: 2,072
8/2/13 7:21 P

I just started to do squats five days a week so hopefully I will see success within a month

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
8/2/13 6:22 P

What sort of effect are you looking for?

I definitely include squats in my routine, they helped me to get a quarter test behind after I had lost it due to weight loss. So they help firm and perk up your glutes. (mine grew due to a calorie surplus, I know some women may not want that but you won't have to worry unless you are gaining weight while doing ST).

The strength gain is another bonus and isometric squats help me in my daily routine if I have to be crouched down for long periods of time (which happens often with 3 small children).

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/2/2013 (18:23)
CORDYSMA SparkPoints: (521)
Fitness Minutes: (336)
Posts: 6
8/2/13 5:07 P

Hello sparkers! Well been trying some set of squat per day and I wanna really know if they have any effect at the end of the day. If youve experienced it let me knw pls!

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