Five Core Exercises To Improve Squats For Female Athletes
It doesn’t matter what you’re training for, whether it’s just for fitness or for an athletic event, you need to strengthen your core muscles not for your core area alone but for regaining enough strength to enable you to perform exercises that require core strength. The barbell squat for instance is an amazing exercise that gives you strength, flexibility and power but unless you don’t have a strong core, you won’t manage a ball squat effectively. Your weak core strength will instead sabotage your squat.
These 5 core exercises to improve squats for female athletes will give you that strength to perform any type of squat and is particularly beneficial if you’ve just a newbie in training or resuming training after injury. A string core helps you maintain the correct posture for a squat as well as providing that all important back and spinal support.
- Supine single leg extension
One of the safest abdominal progressions to start with as it is up to you how much tension you want to place upon the leg extension as well as the pressure on lower back for activation of transverse abs. you need to lower your leg on counts of three but raise on counts of two. Perform 20 reps for each leg.
- Knee Plank Hold
It’s common knowledge to regard the plank as one of the best core exercises to improve squats but women who are new to training or recovering from pregnancies and injury it would be advisable to start on your knees. This will of course still place pressure upon the transverse abdominus but at a slightly lowered rate because the abdominals will support the entire spine.
Make sure your body remains in the shape of a straight line to activate the core. Breathe while performing the plank and hold for 30 seconds. Perform 3 sets.
- Single Leg and Arm Extension with Crunch
Here’s another great move suited to beginners of core strength training. This balances the rectus abdominus while activating the transverse abdominus while bringing up your elbow to your knee to perform the crunch. This leg and arm extension strengthens and improves your rear delts, upper back muscles, glutes and hamstrings too.
When performing the crunch don’t forget to round your back and squeeze your abs as much as possible. Perform 20 repetitions of 3 sets each.
- Supine Leg Extension with Legs held Together
This is an enhanced and challenging version of the supine leg extension. If at any moment you begin to feel the load and pressure is too much, bend your legs for relief. Keep your legs straight and perform the extension. Always remember to press your back into the floor while performing this exercise, this avoids back strain.
On three counts lower your legs and rise on two counts. Perform 20 repetitions each.
- Plank Hold with Single Leg Raise
This is a modified version of the common plank hold with alternate leg raises. Each time you raise your leg off the floor, the weight shifts placing additional strain upon your abs so that they gain an extra workout. It also applies force upon the quadriceps of your supporting leg ensuring that your supporting knee is kept straight. It also benefits the gluteus medius and minimus because of the pressure placed upon these to keep your hips straight.
This is a twist on the classic plank hold with added alternating leg raises. The shift in weight as you take your leg off the floor makes your abdominal muscles work extra hard. It also places a lot of force on your supporting leg by putting a heavy load on your quadriceps to keep your supporting knee straight, with your gluteus medius and minimus coming into play to keep the hips straight as well.
Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions each. Always keep your leg square when performing the exercise.
With these core exercises to improve squats, you can be sure your core will be thoroughly developed as all the pressures of these five exercises are channeled through the core. Remember after recovery from injury and pregnancy if you get straight back into training without strengthening your muscles, you are liable to injure yourself again.