The squat kicks workout is a modification of the old squat workout which puts more emphasis on your glutes.
There are other auxiliary muscle groups that support the motion and they are activated to some degree. These are the hamstrings, calves, quad, hip flexors and outer thighs.
The squat kick movement involves squatting up to the level of your knee and squatting back to the initial position then throwing a front kick forward.
Adding the squat kick to your workout plan will help you gain muscular strength and have better coordination and stability. The workout improves your functional strength to perform daily activities.
Use the following steps to guide you in performing the squat pulses.
- Stand up straight with your feet apart. Have your shoulders are drawn back and your chest raised up to make your back straight.
- Engage your core and push your hips back to squat down slowly up to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Press down to the floor with your feet and engage your back muscles to lift up your body weight from your feet up.
- At the top of the move, kick your right leg straight out to the level of your waistline. Return your leg to the initial position. That makes one rep.
- Repeat the move for the subsequent reps as you alternate your legs.
SQUAT KICKS MUSCLES WORKED
The calf muscle is most activated in the downward motion of the squat. Calf muscle activity is maximum between 60 -90 degrees of knee flexion.
They also get activated when you kick your leg up. The calf muscles of the leg supporting your body when you kick will work harder to maintain your body balance.
The main movers in this squat kick are the quad muscles.
They are most activated between 80-90 degrees of knee flexion and they assist in providing the resistance of your body weight as you descend down.
The quads also assist to provide the strength you need to push yourself up to the initial position.
When you initially push your hips back to squat down, the glute muscles are activated to support the downward motion. They also assist the hip flexors to swing your leg up.
The hamstrings are the muscles located behind your thighs. They work eccentrically and concentrically.
Eccentric movement is when a muscle produces a lesser force than the load. This happens in the downward motion when the hamstring assists in squatting down. Concentric motion is when a muscle produces a force higher than the load.
This happens in the upward movement when you squat up. A strong hamstring helps to improve your mobility and strength.
BENEFITS OF SQUAT KICKS
Flexibility should be one of the goals of your workout plan. When you are flexible you can easily match up into any fitness program.
Flexibility increases your speed and coordination such that you can easily avoid accidents due to quick body responses.
IMPROVES CARDIAC FUNCTION
A 10-minute squat kick workout is enough to get your heart pumping hard.
When your heart pumps it means the cardiac muscles are set up to work harder and it also improves your lung capacity.
IMPROVES BALANCE AND STABILITY
Squat by itself helps to increase your muscular endurance and helps correct strength imbalances. When your strength is evenly distributed your body becomes firm and stable.
BURNS FAT AND BUILDS LEAN MUSCLE
Squat kicks activate many muscle groups and so excess fat calories are burnt to build lean muscle.
When excess fat is burned out, you will gain a better shape and your skin tone will also improve.
VARIATIONS OF SQUAT KICKS
SQUAT WITH SIDEKICK
This is a slight variation of the squat kicks that mainly activities the hamstring and the glutes together with other secondary muscles.
To do it, start by taking the right position that is feet at shoulder width, back straight, chest popped out, and chin up.
Squat down halfway up to the point your knees make 90 degrees angle. Squat up keeping the tension then kick out your leg sideways. Repeat the move with the other leg.
SQUAT BACK KICK
The squat back kick is a variation that exercises your strength, coordination, and stability. The last part of the movement requires that you kick back your leg.
This move forces your glutes to come into the action of pushing your leg back and of keeping the rest of the body balanced.
In doing the workout, the kick is to be released just before you resume the standing position.
The jump squat is an example of a plyometric workout that helps in building muscular strength and functional strength. It is recommended for athletes who require power and stability. To do it you descend into a half squat then jump up explosively straight into the air as you stretch out your hands out.
NARROW SQUAT BACK KICK
To do this workout, stand straight up with your feet clutched. Keep your chest up and push your hips back to descend down.
When you get to the point your thighs are parallel to the ground, squat back up then slightly bend forwards and release a back kick. Repeat the move for subsequent reps alternating your legs.
MISTAKES TO AVOID IN SQUAT KICKS
By now you probably know that curving or rounding your back is dangerous for your spine.
If you don’t, then know that when your back is curved, there will be a lot of strain on your lower back.
For this reason, the back is supposed to be kept straight throughout the squat workout.
MAKING SLOW KICK
For you to gain the most out of the squat kick workout, you should get it right at every inch of the exercise.
It is a mistake to make slow lazy kicks when it comes to squat kicks. You should kick your leg out with strength as if you were to make contact. The kick should be at least at your waist level.
This happens during the downward squat movement when the knees collapse inwards instead of being firm and straight.
When the knees are collapsed in under your body weight, it puts a lot of strain on your knee joints which may cause pain.