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The secrets of the lateral squat: an exercise to tone the muscles!

The secrets of the lateral squat: an exercise to tone the muscles!

Discover the lateral squat , a variation of traditional squats that will allow you to effectively strengthen and sculpt the muscles of your lower body. In this article, we present to you the advantages of this technique, the muscles used as well as some tips for correctly performing lateral squats .

Why include the side squat in your exercise routine?

The squat is one of the flagship exercises for muscle strengthening, especially for working the lower part of the body. The lateral squat offers additional advantages over the traditional squat:

  • It allows you to further target the gluteal muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • It also works the stabilizing muscles, which promotes better balance and coordination.
  • It can be done without equipment and with different variations to adapt to all levels of practitioners.

Integrating the lateral squat into your exercise routine therefore allows you to diversify your training and work the muscles of your lower body differently.

What muscles are used during a lateral squat?

When you perform a side squat, several muscle groups are used:

  • The glutes (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus): they are responsible for extension and external rotation of the hip.
  • The quadriceps : located at the front of the thighs, these muscles allow you to extend the knee and flex the hip.
  • The hamstrings : They are located at the back of the thighs and are responsible for flexing the knee and extending the hip.
  • The adductors : located on the inner side of the thighs, these muscles participate in the stabilization of the pelvis and the adduction of the hip.
  • The stabilizing muscles of the trunk and hips (abdominals, obliques and lumbar): they help to maintain correct posture when performing the movement.

Thus, the lateral squat allows you to tone and strengthen all of these muscles for a firmer and shapelier lower body.

How to correctly perform a side squat?

To perform a lateral squat safely and to fully benefit from its benefits, it is essential to follow good technique. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward.
  2. Perform a knee bend by pushing your buttocks back as if you wanted to sit in an imaginary chair. Keep your back straight and your gaze forward.
  3. As you descend, move one foot to the side while holding the other foot in place. Your body weight should be evenly distributed between both legs.
  4. Return to the starting position by bringing the displaced foot next to the other foot. Push through your heels to raise and contract your gluteal muscles.

Perform several repetitions of this movement, alternating sides (right and left). Be sure to always maintain good posture and not move your knees past your toes when bending.

Tip: adapt the depth of the side squat

To adapt the lateral squat to your level and abilities, you can vary the depth of the movement. Beginners can start by performing more superficial squats, while experienced practitioners can look to go lower to work the muscles more.

The different variations of the lateral squat

The side squat can be performed with different variations to add diversity to your workout and continue to progress. Here are some examples :

  • The side squat with explosive jump: perform a classic side squat, then perform a jump in the air, changing sides (the left foot moves to the right and vice versa). This variation allows you to add a cardio and plyometric component to your exercise.
  • Side squat with elastic: place a resistance elastic band around your ankles or above your knees. Perform the side squat movement while keeping constant tension on the elastic. This version further strengthens the abductor and adductor muscles.
  • Dumbbell side squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang along your thighs. Perform the side squat while maintaining the arm position. Adding weight increases the difficulty of the exercise and works your lower body muscles more intensely.

Don't hesitate to vary the pleasures by integrating these different variations of lateral squats during your sports sessions to continually challenge your muscles and avoid monotony!

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In summary: the benefits of the lateral squat and the muscles used

The side squat is an effective exercise for working and toning your lower body muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and adductors. Additionally, it also works the stabilizing muscles, promoting better balance and coordination. Integrate this variation of traditional squats into your training to diversify your exercises and continue to progress!

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