If you do only one exercise to improve strength, do squats

If you do only one exercise to improve strength, do squats

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Regardless of what your hunting or fitness goals may be, squats should be a fundamental part of your program. What better way to get more mentally and physically tough than putting a heavy load across your upper back and letting it drive you down before exploding back up? This exercise engages numerous muscle groups throughout the body, developing crucial core-stabilization muscles that will help you avoid injury and have limitless real-world applications.

The squat delivers a number of benefits: Want to drop some weight to get ready for the fall hunting season? Start in on those high-rep squats. They facilitate weight-shedding like few other exercises. Want to build some stout quads to enable you to get where the elk are? Lower those reps and up the weight.

Another oft-overlooked benefit of squats is that they boost your metabolism and hormone production, both of which contribute to weight loss. If someone tells me they want to get lean or have more defined arms, I tell them make sure to hit those legs and do their squats.

To safely and effectively perform a conventional back squat, first place your feet in a comfortable position. I like a little wider than shoulder width, with the toes pointed out slightly. As you descend, keep your chest up and drive your hips back as if to “take a seat:” envision descending into a chair positioned directly behind you. Do your best to keep your shins vertical, maintain a flat back (this doesn’t mean stay upright, necessarily) and don’t be scared to tip forward a little bit. Get to depth where your hips are slightly lower than your knees, then drive your hips forward while standing up, keeping your knees pushed out.

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