The 28 day Squat challenge will tone and strengthen your butt, thighs, core, and calves.
The humble Squat is a simple bodyweight exercise that has been around for a very long time.
No equipment is required, but you can hold dumbbells or place a barbell over your shoulders as you squat if you want to increase the challenge.
It’s a move many of us love to hate, but with so many variations to choose from, Squats deliver superior results compared to many other exercises that target the same muscles.
So don’t wait any longer. Get started on the 28 day Squat challenge today, and in a few short weeks, you can transform your shape.
Along with the workout schedule, this article will cover the proper Squat technique for the three variations you will be doing.
We will also look at the benefits of Squats and eight common Squat mistakes to avoid.
Table of Contents
What are the Benefits of Doing Squats?
In addition to toning and strengthening the core and lower body, other benefits of doing Squats regularly include better mobility and balance.
Squats strengthen ligaments and can improve bone density. They increase the range of motion in our hips and ankles, which can lower the risk of exercise-related injuries.
Because they target our largest muscle group – the thighs – doing them regularly will quickly lower your body fat level. With more lean muscle and less fat, your metabolism will be faster, making it easier for you to lose weight.
Who Can do the 28 Day Squat Challenge?
People of any age and fitness level can undertake the 28 day Squat challenge. Be warned, though; it’s called a challenge for a good reason. Your muscles will quickly let you know they’ve been worked, especially if you are a beginner.
NB: If you suffer from knee or hip problems, check with your doctor before undertaking the challenge.
Squat Schedule –
You will be doing the Squats three times a week with one or two days break in between. Split the exercises into three, so the first week, you will do 5 of each exercise on day 1, 10 of each on day 3, 15 of each on day 5, etc.
Day 1: 15 reps, Day 3: 30 reps, Day 5: 45 reps
Day 1: 60 reps, Day 3: 75 reps, Day 5: 90 reps
Day 1: 105 reps, Day 3: 120 reps, Day 5: 135 reps
Day 1: 150 reps, Day 3: 165 reps, Day 5: 180 reps
Next, we will look at the exercises you will be doing in the 28 day Squat challenge, the primary muscles each variation targets, and the proper Squat technique.
The primary muscles targeted are the quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and calves.
- Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, and your toes turned outward at an angle of about 30 degrees.
- Engage your core muscles, and reach your arms straight forward at shoulder height with your palms facing down, or bend your arms at the elbow and clasp your hands together at chest height.
- With your back straight, your chest up, and your weight mainly on your heels, sit back into the Squat as you bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should remain flat on the floor at all times.
- Squeeze your glutes and keep your chest lifted as you straighten your legs to return to your starting position.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 for the desired number of reps.
Sumo Squats primarily target the inner thighs, glutes, and core. They provide cardiovascular benefits and burn a lot of calories.
- Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned outward at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.
- Engage your core and lift your arms straight out to the front at shoulder height with your palms facing down, or clasp your hands together at chest height.
- With your back straight, your chest up, and your weight mainly on your heels, sit back into the Squat as you bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Keep your weight on your midfoot and heels, straighten your knees, and squeeze your glutes as you rise to your starting position.
- Repeat the steps above for the required number of reps.
Jump Squats primarily target the Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Abs, and Calves. They also offer cardiovascular benefits.
- Stand with your feet approximately hip-width apart, your elbows bent, and your hands clasped lightly in front of you at chest height.
- With your back straight, your chest lifted, and your core engaged, bend into a Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes as you jump explosively into the air, swinging your arms up over your head as you do.
- Land on the floor with soft knees, bringing your arms and legs back to their starting position.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 until you have reached the number of repetitions for the day’s schedule.
Using the correct form is vital to avoid injury and get the most from the 28 day Squat challenge. The following are some common Squat mistakes that you should avoid.
Common Squat Mistakes
1) Moving your knees too far forward
One of the most common Squat mistakes people make is allowing their knees to move further forward than their toes at the bottom of the Squat.
This can result in knee pain or even an injury.
To avoid extending your knees too far forward as you Squat, check that you can see your toes. If you are unable to, try sitting further back into the Squat.
2) Turning your knees too far in or out
Letting your knees rotate towards the center or outside should be avoided as it places a lot of stress on the knees. It can also lead to hip and lower back problems.
To avoid this, stack your hips over your heels and your knees over your ankles. If necessary, adjust your stance to achieve this by placing your feet closer together or wider.
3) Squatting too low or not low enough
Squatting too low is another of the most common Squat mistakes. Aim to bend your knees to around 90 degrees. Any more, and you will place excessive stress on your knees and quads, making it difficult to lift out of the Squat and risking a lower back injury.
If you bend less than 90 degrees, you will not strengthen and tone your hamstrings and glutes optimally.
4) Shifting your weight forward
It’s common for people to shift their weight forward rather than backward when squatting. This position can cause the heels to lift, putting too much weight on the knees and quads, increasing the risk of knee and ankle injuries.
Remember to keep your weight back on your heels to correct this tendency.
5) Using incorrect posture
Your posture while doing Squats can be the difference between injury and getting the result you want.
Looking up to far will curve the cervical portion of your spine. This could cause a disc injury. Conversely, leaning too far forward will overly round your back, putting pressure on your spine.
The ideal position is looking straight ahead with your chest thrust upwards. This will enable you to do Squats with a neutral arch in your cervical spine. Check your posture in a mirror if need be.
6) Squatting too quickly
Squats should be done at a slow to moderate pace, and you should leave a couple of seconds between each one. Rushing and not resting between Squats can result in poor form, so you don’t get the most benefit from the exercise or even injure yourself.
7) Failing to engage your core
Another of the most common Squat mistakes involves neglecting to engage your core muscles. Doing this will enable you to slightly round your lower back and pelvis to keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid over-stressing your back.
8) Holding your breath
Forgetting to breathe while squatting or exhaling when you should be inhaling, or vice-versa will not enable you to stabilize your core.
Inhale gradually and steadily deep into your belly as you lower into the Squat and slowly exhale as you return to an upright position
Final Thoughts on the 28 Day Squat Challenge
As you can see, the benefits of Squats make them an exercise worth including in your fitness regimen.
Along with toning and strengthening your butt, thighs, and core, the 28 Day Squat Challenge will improve your balance, mobility, flexibility, burn calories, and more.
There’s no need to stop with the three Squats referenced in this article. Here are some more for you to try.
You may also be interested in this 6 Move x 30-Day Glute Workout for Women.
Need help squatting? If so, check out my Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row n’ Ride Trainer review.
Click the following link to read an article containing diet and exercise tips to lose thigh fat fast, and click here to read how to lose weight in your thighs the no gym way.