This 30 Day Squat Challenge is going to help you tone and strengthen your legs as well as other muscles in your lower body, including your glutes!
The challenge can be done virtually anywhere and requires no equipment. All you do is a simple, but effective compound exercise called the squat. In this 30 Day Squat Challenge, you’ll take small steps to a stronger you by increasing the number of squats you do daily. So are you ready? Let’s do this!
30 Day Squat Challenge
Tips for Success
One of the best ways to ensure you succeed is a really simple one: grab a friend to do the 30 Day Squat Challenge with you. Together you can keep each other motivated and accountable.
Another tip is one given to me by a fellow blogger, Ali Richards for the 30 Day Plank Challenge. “My big tip is to find a song the perfect length and play it loudly while you’re planking. Sing along to distract yourself! In iTunes you can order songs by length so can easily build it up each day.”
This tip works great for the 30 Day Squat Challenge, too. Most anything is better with music, so give this tip a try.
Don’t forget to click here to pin this post “30 Day Plank Challenge – Small Steps To A Stronger You” to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
What Will The Squat Do For Me?
There are many benefits to including squats into your exercise routine, and those benefits are not limited to just your legs. Here are reasons you should squat more.
1. Build Strength and Muscle
The squat is a powerhouse movement which builds strength and muscles in not only your legs but also your whole body. When you perform squats, your body releases testosterone and the human growth hormone which promote muscle building in your entire body.
This 30 Day Squat Challenge is going to help you tone and strengthen your legs and other lower body muscles like your glutes! It can be done anywhere with no equipment and with this challenge you’ll take small steps to a stronger you.
2. Prevent Injury
When you perform squats correctly, you strengthen not only your leg muscles but also tendons and ligaments. This helps prevent injuries in sports, exercise and daily activities.
Do you suffer from knee pain? Squats strengthen the tendons in your knees which can help alleviate and prevent that pain.
3. Improve Flexibility
If you sit at a desk all day, take regular breaks and perform two or three squats to stretch out your leg muscles. When you squat you bend and stretch not only your quadriceps but also your calves and hamstrings. Taking those squat breaks gets the blood flowing again and helps improve flexibility in your legs.
4. Burn Calories
For every pound of muscle you gain, you can burn about 35-50 more calories per day. This means if you were to gain 5 pounds of muscle, you could see an increase of 250 more calories burned per day!
5. Warm You Up
If you’re a runner, consider adding squats to your warm-up routine. They increase blood flow to your muscles and help limber you up.
This also applies to warm-ups before aerobic or strength training activities so if you’re planning on doing a HIIT workout, taking a boot camp class, doing yoga, etc. do some squats beforehand.
6. Are Free And Can Be Done Anywhere
You don’t need a gym membership or extra equipment to get a workout with squats. And you can do them virtually anywhere!
At the end of the 30 Day Squat Challenge, you’ll have stronger legs which will help you look and feel better. Better leg strength will also help you perform a number of different exercises with more ease.
How to Perform a Squat
To do a proper plank, follow these steps.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width or slightly wider than should-width apart. Toes should point forward or slightly turned out.
You hear it all the time, but what the heck is shoulder-width? Try this. Standing tall with your hands at your sides, jump up and down a few times. Stop. Your feet typically land on the ground at shoulder-width distance.
Throughout the movement keep your chest lifted and look straight in front of you. Try not to lean forward or look down towards the ground. Holding your hands overhead helps keep your torso upright so if you’re starting out, try squatting with your hands up.
2. Keeping your weight on your heels, bend your knees and sit back.
There are two points to keep in mind as you do this. First, think about how you sit in a chair. Your butt reaches slightly back to touch the chair as you bend your knees.
Second, to make sure you’re keeping your weight on your heels when you reach the lowest part of the squat, you should be able to wiggle your toes.
3. Lower yourself until your hip crease is in line with the top of your knees.
Your hip crease is the point between the top of your thighs and your hips. To get an idea of where this is, stand tall, place your hands at the top of your thighs and bend forward. The space where your hands are squeezed is your hip crease. When you perform a squat, pretend you have a ruler across your thighs running from your hip crease to the top of your knees. Lower your body to the point where the ruler becomes parallel to the ground.
4. Rise to return to standing.
As you do this, think about pushing off the ground with your heels and not your toes. Squeeze your glutes at the same time. Come all the way up until you’re standing tall.
Don’t forget to breathe. You don’t want to hold your breath while performing this exercise. Inhale as you go down and exhale as you go up.
6. One more important tip
Don’t let your knees turn in. Work hard to keep your knees in line with your toes as you lower and raise your body. If you’re just starting out, you may find your knees want to turn inward and move closer together. As your legs get stronger, you should be able to keep this from happening.
To see if this happens to you, perform a couple of squats while looking down at your toes. (Note: this is the only time you should do this because as you know, you should look straight ahead as you squat, right?) As you squat, the space between your knees should stay the same. If you see your knees move inward so that space decreases, your knees are turning in. Keeping pushing those knees out, so the space is consistent throughout the whole movement.
Several squat variations are listed below if you’re already a proficient squatter.
30 Day Squat Challenge
Here’s how the challenge works. On the first day, start with 15 squats. As the days progress, you’ll slowly increase the total number of squats you perform each day.
Don’t worry, you’ll have some “rest days” thrown in there where you do fewer squats to allow your leg muscles to recover. At the end of thirty days, you’ll perform 50 squats. You can do it!
Note: You can break up the reps, meaning you don’t have to do them all at once. For example, on Day 18 you can do ten squats when you wake up, ten squats midday, and ten squats in the evening.
- Day 1 – 15 squats
- Day 2 – 15 squats
- Day 3 – 15 squats
- Day 4 – 15 squats
- Day 5 – 15 squats
- Day 6 – 10 squats
- Day 7 – 20 squats
- Day 8 – 20 squats
- Day 9 – 20 squats
- Day 10 – 20 squats
- Day 11 – 20 squats
- Day 12 – 10 squats
- Day 13 – 25 squats
- Day 14 – 25 squats
- Day 15 – 25 squats
- Day 16 – 25 squats
- Day 17 – 10 squats
- Day 18 – 30 squats
- Day 19 – 30 squats
- Day 20 – 30 squats
- Day 21 – 10 squats
- Day 22 – 35 squats
- Day 23 – 35 squats
- Day 24 – 10 squats
- Day 25 – 40 squats
- Day 26 – 40 squats
- Day 27 – 10 squats
- Day 28 – 45 squats
- Day 29 – 10 squats
- Day 30 – 50 squats
Related Article: 30 Day Plank Challenge – Small Steps To A Stronger You
Now, if you want to challenge yourself further, grab a set of weights to hold in your hands – dumbbells, kettlebells, or even a couple bottles of water. You can keep them at your sides or rest them on top of your shoulders.
If you want to challenge yourself further, include a five-second hold at the bottom (lowest part) of your squat.
Variations on the 30 Day Squat Challenge
Whether you’re not yet ready to do that many squats or if you’ve done this challenge before, here are more ideas to change it up a little.
Do fewer reps
If you’re just starting out with exercising or struggle with squats, do the challenge with fewer reps. For example, you can cut the number of squats in half each day.
Squat to a Chair
Not quite sure if you’re doing it right? Start off squatting down onto a chair. Once you’re able to perform a squat efficiently, keeping your chest lifted and the weight on your heels, try squatting without the chair.
Maybe you’ve done this challenge before and want to change it up a little. If so, I’ve got a number of advanced alternatives you can perform for the 30 Day Squat Challenge.
The first one is a sumo squat which is a squat performed with your legs spread wider than shoulder-width distance apart. This works your inner thighs more.
If you do the 30 Day Squat Challenge with a sumo squat, either do the challenge with all sumo squats or alternate between standard squats and sumo squats every other day. For example, start day one with standard squats, then day two with sumo squats, and so on.
To perform a sumo squat, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, then step each foot out to the side one to one-and-a-half the width of your feet. For me (I’m 5′ 2″), that’s about three to four inches wider on each side, or a total of six to eight inches of space between my feet.
Point your toes outward to the side, more so than you would with a standard squat.
Everything else is done the same as with a standard squat.
To make the sumo plank a little harder, grab weights like dumbbells and kettlebells.
Alternatively, you can do the 30 Day Squat Challenge with overhead squats. With this movement, everything is the same as a standard squat, but now you have both arms overhead and out to the side.
To start, stand tall with arms straight overhead and fully extended (meaning reach up towards the sky without bending your arms at the elbows). Next spread your arms out so your body forms a letter Y (pretend you’re doing the Y part of the YMCA dance). From here, set your feet shoulder-width apart and squat.
Make sure as you do an overhead squat that you keep your chest lifted and look straight ahead.
Doing the 30 Day Squat Challenge with jump squats will really get your heart racing. With a jump squat, everything is the same as a standard squat, but you jump up as you come up from the bottom of the squat. Remember to push off from your heels as you jump.
Related: 30 Day Summer Body Challenge
There you have it. A 30 Day Squat Challenge to strengthen and tone the muscles in your lower body and several variations you can try. Stay tuned for more challenges you can do in just thirty days.
Are you ready to take the 30 Day Squat Challenge? Can you do 50 squats? After doing this challenge, come back and comment on what you thought below. Share how you feel at the end of the challenge.
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