Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rock Hard Body Exercises by Robert D. Franklin

A surprising exercise not only for legs, but also rock hard abs is the Front Squat.

The squat is at the top of the heap (along with deadlifts) as one of the most effective overall exercises for stimulating muscle gain and fat loss) because exercises like these use more muscle groups under a heavy load than almost any other weight bearing exercises around. Squats and deadlifts use hundreds of muscles throughout your entire body to move the load and stabilize your body while doing the drill. These exercises stimulate the greatest hormonal responses of all exercises.

Squats can be done with barbells, dumbbells, or just body weight and should only be done with free weights, not with any machines.

The type of squat that people are most familiar with is the barbell back squat where the bar is resting on the trapezius muscles of the upper back. Front squats are moderately more difficult than back squats, while overhead squats are considerably more difficult than either back squats or front squats.

To perform the front squat:

The front squat uses the abdominals to a much higher degree for stability due to the more upright position. It's mostly a lower body exercise, but is tremendous in utilizing core strength and stability into the squatting movement. You will feel a hard contraction in your abs if you're doing front squats correctly.

If you're using a weight bar, it can be a little difficult to learn how to properly rest the bar on your shoulders. Here are 2 ways to rest the bar on the front of your shoulders.

In the first method, you step under the bar and cross your forearms into an “X” position while resting the bar on the dimple that is created by the shoulder muscle near the bone, keeping your elbows up high so that your arms are parallel to the ground. You then hold the bar in place by pressing the thumb side of your fists against the bar for support.

Alternatively, you can hold the bar by placing your palms face up and the bar resting on your fingers against your shoulders. For both methods, your elbows must stay up high to prevent the weight from falling. Your upper arms should stay parallel to the ground throughout the squat. Find out which bar support method is more comfortable for you.

Then, initiate the squat from your hips by sitting back and down keeping the weight on your heels as opposed to the balls of your feet. Squat down to a position where your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground, then press back up to the starting position. Keeping your weight more towards your heels is the key factor in squatting to protect your knees from injury and develop strong injury resistant knee joints.

You may also note that when squats are done correctly they actually strengthen your knees. Alternatively, if squats are done incorrectly they can damage your knees. Practice first with a non-weight bar or a relatively light weight to learn the movement. People are shocked at how hard this exercise works your abs once the correct form is learned.

I hope this has been an added benefit to your fitness journey. For more information and nutrition facts, you can also visit