Dynamite Derriere - Squats Designed Specifically for Females
Squats are different for men than women. Sadly, females have not yet figured out the value of squats. If exercises were graded in the manner precious stones are graded, the squat would be a ruby or sapphire, second only to the diamond in hardness and quality. The diamond, of course, would be cardio. As much as I love target toning, cardio is the foundation for all exercise. Can we build a sweat with squats - absolutely. Is that the primary focus of the squat? Squats are best at working the legs and the glutes.
The paradigm that we need to change for females to love squats as much as we love precious gems is to understand the value of the squat. Squats have been pigeon holed, at least in my generation - I feel, as the super over muscled male body builder lifting hundreds of pounds when he squats. Yet, squats for females are one of the most effective and efficient exercises for weight loss, muscles tone and if designed with interval training can actually include the diamond ranking exercise - the beloved cardio.
Learn what muscles the squats work, learn how squats help change our metabolism and leave here motivated to break a sweat performing squats.
Myth Buster - "Squats Bad for the Knees"
One of the saddest things in fitness is the myth that has been allowed to permeate society that squats are bad for the knees. When in reality if we build the muscles around the knees, the stronger muscles can protect the knees.
Who do I fault? All of us. We are not taught as children in grade school, we do not report this and when we visit the doctor, the doctor is trained for diagnosis for surgery and prescriptions.
Yes, we have gotten better at mandating therapy before surgery but often this prescription for therapy has come too little and too late.
Beautiful Muscles - Vastus Medialis Obliquus (VMO)
One of the most beautiful muscles in the human body is a small muscle called the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO).
We all know the name of the muscles for the quadriceps and the glutes and the location. Do you know where the VMO muscle resides?
Important Information About the VMO
Before we get to the location of this beautiful muscle called the VMO. Did you know the VMO is often the most difficult muscle to isolate and train?
Critical Point About the VMO
Interestingly, upon researching the VMO, the VMO is often one of the weakest muscles in the human body.
Why do I find this fact fascinating? Because I have knee problems. My grandmother had knee problems and had both knees operated on at Mayo Clinic.
I thought my knee problems were unique to just myself and my Grandmother. Then I started training to become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and then I learned the whole truth.
For you see, especially in women, the muscles in the legs are often forgotten.
The joke the top physician gave my Grandmother was to stop playing football because half a century ago knee surgery was primary a football injury. Today knee replacement is a common ailment but yet we don't know about the muscles that protect the knee joint - the many muscles in the leg with special attention to this super sexy muscle called the VMO.
VMO - Super Sexy Muscle
Yes, the editors and the advertisers will be mad at me but it must be stated loud and clear - the VMO is a super sexy muscle but it is also one of the most under appreciated muscles in the human body.
To continue with my jewelry analogy, if you will permit me, the VMO would be the tanzanite of gorgeous gems. The tanzanite is a soft stone but extremely beautiful and very rare. The quadriceps is the sapphire - sturdy and strong and widely well known.
One of the best websites I have found with important facts about our muscles and great photos for understanding our muscles is provided below. They are the ones who have graciously allow the reproduction of the image that clearly showcases the VMO and how it sit right next to the knee joint.
- PhysioAdvisor - Physiotherapy, Sports Injuries, Diagnosis, Treatment - Home
PhysioAdvisor offers expert physiotherapy advice and health information on sports and spinal injuries, injury diagnosis, treatment, physiotherapy exercises, find a physiotherapist directory and physiotherapy products.
Location of the VMO - "The Where"
So enough of this talk of the VMO and how beautiful this muscle is - what does it have to do with squats and where in the world is it located?
In case you haven't already guessed, it is a part of our leg muscle and is engaged when we do squats and other leg exercises.
The vastus medialis oblique is located just above and to the inside of the knee.
Did you know the VMO stabilizes the knee joint?
Did you know the location of the VMO before reading this article?
VMO - "The Why"
So why is the VMO so important? Why do we care if the VMO is weak? Why do we need to know if our VMO is weak?
Can our VMO be genetic? I don't have the research or the medical knowledge to answer that but I can tell you I have certain physical traits from my parents and my Grandparents and I know I share my Grandmother's vitamin deficiencies and her weak knees. So my personal answer would be yes - but keep in mind I am only certified in fitness not in medical knowledge. I share this with you to motivate you to understand your body and motivate you to take care of your body.
The importance of the VMO is acts as a stabilizer for the knee joint.
If we go back to our jewelry analogy and look at our rings and see a prong holding a precious stone that has gotten loose, we go to the jeweler and have it fixed.
Same scenario applies to the VMO, we need a strong VMO in order to stabilize the knee.
"The vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) fibers are often mentioned in clinical settings as being the ones that are typically weakest and most difficult to recruit."
Are Squats The Best Exercise for the VMO?
This is an opinion for your medical professional not a fitness professional.
Squats are a great exercise but for "therapy" as in all therapy questions, you need a medical expert.
Squats can change our metabolism, squat exercises can be designed as interval training and you can encompass cardio. Squats exercises alone can make you break a sweat. Squats are one of the most efficient and effective exercises available. Squats are a high quality gem - equal to any sapphire or ruby and squats can deliver beautiful muscle tone.
The best fitness is a great combination of exercises. Do actively seek a compliment of exercises that target the legs muscle with special emphasis upon the quadriceps with special attention given to the VMO.
Wall Squat with Targeting the VMO
This next video is one of my favorites. In this video, Limitless Fitness owner Andy Blackwell shows you step-by-step how to improve the strength of your (Vastus Medialis Obliques / inner thigh muscles). Learning and perfecting these 2 exercises will also help you achieve an all round toned look all over the thighs and butt (glutes).
Strengthen and Stabilize the Muscles Around the Knees - Great How To Video
Leg Exercises - Squats Lunges Step Ups
Great leg exercises are squats, lunges and steps ups. Special exercises to activate the VMO are important for both females and males.
If feel females have a special issue with the VMO muscles - why? We were not trained to love our muscles. We were not trained that muscles protect our joints.
VMO Exercise and Modification
Vastus Medailis - Muscle Protecting the Knee JointClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Strengthen Your VMO Muscles and Your Quadriceps
- Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises - VMO Strengthening Exercises - PhysioAdvisor
PhysioAdvisor offers detailed physiotherapy information on progressive quadriceps strengthening exercises and VMO strengthening exercises.
"I squat more than your girlfriend - see backside for further details."
Fun T Shirt
Saw this fun t-shirt about squats. It said in bright pink on black (remember the print is on the front of the t-shirt) - "I squat more than your girlfriend - see backside for further details."
Yes, squats are more than a glute exercise - squats are the supreme exercise for the legs. A great physique includes the squat exercise but not as you and I typically think of in the body building world. For you see, for females the heavy weight squat is not needed. What is needed is high cardio with rapid repetition for the toning the thighs and for burning calories.
How to Achieve A Tone, Lean Body with Squats
Men want to build muscle, body builders want to build muscle, but most females what a tone, lean body. The squat can provide quick results but it must be done with high repetition and light weights.
Ladies, the moral of the story here is don't seek to achieve extremes in what weight you can squat with, seek to have high repetitions with a focus on the repetitions and increasing your cardio.
Body Weight Squats
What is wonderful about the squat exercise is we can do allot of good and sculpt our body with no weights. Start at home and commit to a daily routine with just your body weight and I promise you (and I rarely make promises so listen closely) measurable results in a very short amount of time.
Take Your Exercise Routine to the Next Level
Remember, the goal is not the amount of weight the goals for the next level may include moderate weights with the sumo squat or better yet - a higher challenge - increase your flexibility with the side squat. Some call this is the side boxer squat. Whatever the name, the purpose is to increase your flexibility and seek to achieve a fluid movement targeting the inner thigh.
Another Level - Try the Bosu Side Squat Challenge
Once you have progressed into daily squats, then side squats with complete fluidity, I challenge you to try the side squat with the Bosu. Adding the uneven surface of the Bosu will further change your muscles. What you add with the Bosu will be more core stability. You cannot use the Bosu without targeting your core muscles. Imagine a compound exercise that provides cardio, flexibility and targets the glute, the thighs and the core - this triple play exercise is a must for the advance fitness guru and should not be attempted by beginners or even intermediate fitness lovers. Wait until you have fully achieved the other forms to advance to this level. Check out the videos below that walk us through these various types of squats which beautifully target tone our quadriceps and our inner thighs.
Thin Thigh Video - Sumo Squat with Safety Tips
Sumo Squat - How to Get Thinner Thighs
Sumo deadlift or sumo squat. Wider than shoulder squat. This video shows you how to take the torque off the knees. Upper body is vertical. Push your knees open.
Working the top of the glutes and the inner and outer thigh muscles.
Keep your back safe by not rounding your back.
Do increase your weight.
Remember your legs muscles house your longest and largest muscles. Do push these muscles because research has shown that changing your muscle tone has the ability to change your metabolism.
Original origin in Ballet, essentially a movement in which the knees are bent while the back is held straight.
Inner Thigh Exercises - The PliéSquat
Wide Squat - The Plié Squat - Ideal for the Inner Thigh
The video at the right showcases the proper form needed for the wide squat.
- Place your feet wide than your shoulder wide apart
- Angle your feet out 45 degrees
- Keep your chin level to the floor
- Keep a natural arch in your back
- Keep your knees bent to protect your back
- Keep your weight on your heels
- Push through your heels, squeeze your butt muscles
- Avoid learning forward
- Don't let your knees travel in
- Keep your knees behind your toes
- Perform in a smooth, controlled motion.
Advanced Squat - Plyometric Squat on Bosu
Favorite Must See Video - "Sidestep Boxer Lunge"
This video is short and to the point with excellent cuing for proper form and detailing the proper form for targeting the inner thigh using the side squats.
Want continual motion. Stay down the entire time.
Very important for your knees to stay behind your toes.
This is an advanced squat exercise.
Squat Challenge 225 Squats to Burn 100 Calories
This video is great because it showcases the variety of exercises that squats can offer. Do take this challenge. Can you complete 225 squats and burn 100 calories?
If you need more inspiration for squats, do check out our many squat challenge posters and print one today.
Fitness for All - Everyday Break a Sweat
Everyday - Break A Sweat
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard was from Matthew Mcconaughey, he stated his father was an athlete and he had good genes but he also stated one of his life's mantra's is to break a sweat every day.
He wouldn't commit to the "fitness" hype but he detailed clearly for us that an active lifestyle of doing what you love is critical to great health.
I share this with you because I feel real life stories tell the real story. Our Grandparents, our athletic parents are one piece of the puzzle but how we live our daily life is really about our happiness and our health.
Take Mcconaughey's simple advise and seek to break a sweat every day. And I hope you consider including squats and reviewing the other VMO exercises for your daily fitness routine.
- Always check with your physician before you begin a new fitness program.
- Proper form is paramount in fitness - both for effectiveness and for prevention of injury.
- When performing squats, keep your toes behind your knees.
- Do incorporate a complement of different exercises to target tone different muscles in the legs and throughout the entire body.
- Don't forget cardio!
Functional Thigh Muscles
Young girls today are all in a rage about the "inner curve" in the thigh. Sadly, we look for the visuals but forget the function (aka our health) must be our foundation. Understanding our body and the muscles and their functions is paramount.
Advertisers have taught us more about gemstones than muscles and yet the most valuable item we own is not the jewelry we wear, it is our muscle tone.
Take the time today to closely study the human body, our muscle groups and learn how your body reacts to exercise.
The human body is more beautiful than the finest sapphire, ruby or diamond. Take the time today to create the platinum body you deserve.