The soreness is starting to subside by now from reviving muscles that maybe haven’t been worked in a while or as intensely.

We’ve gotten the hang of certain exercises and probably picked a target zone we want to focus on. For me, it’s lower body. Squats in particular.

Our move today is a close stance squat adding a hand weight. The weight doesn’t have to be heavy, just added resistance. This move will be working your glutes and quads mainly, and toning in the hamstrings as well.

Begin this squat by placing your feet right underneath your hips. Keep your toes pointed forward, your weight in hand and tucked into your chest. Keep your chest tall, roll your shoulders back and down, engage your abdominals and you are ready to start.

Start your squatting motion by bending in your knees and pushing your rear end back and down, as if you were sitting into a chair. Continue to lower your squat as low as you can, being able to effectively push yourself back up to the starting position. Keep your knees positioned behind your toes to not add too much pressure in the knees. Keep the focus on the body parts that you are trying to work.

While working the squat with your feet in a closer stance, you tend to have a little more control so you can keep your up and down count at a slightly quicker pace, either on a two count, or even singles.

Shoot for at least 10 to 15 repetitions, for three to five sets. If the hand weight becomes too heavy or awkward while performing your squat, grab a lighter weight or drop it all together.

This close stance squat is great added in to any lower body workout, or packs enough punch to be performed on its own.
Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.