The Most Effective Way to Squat – ‘ass to grass’

Get Low: Deep Squats Are the Best Squats


The humble squat might just be the most effective exercise you can do: It engages the entire lower half of the body, including the hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, while also hitting the core, shoulders, and back.

A perfect squat is a symphony of muscular coordination throughout the entire body, achieving the rare feat of simultaneously building muscle and burning fat thanks to its high metabolic demand (read: it burns a lotta calories because it works a lotta muscles). But how low should you go?

Let’s end the suspense: The perfect squat is a deep squat, with the hip crease going all the way past the knees (or “ass to grass,” as some eloquently put it). Deep squats recruit more muscles, burn more calories, and are particularly good for building a nice, strong butt. (And who doesn’t want that?) But there’s a lot more to this exercise than one might think. It’s not just important to stretch—without a strong core, loose shoulders, an engaged back, and high mobility, the risk of injury multiplies.

But Aren’t Deep Squats Bad For You?…

FINISH READING: The Most Effective Way to Squat




Sharon’s Umbrella Spotters

Not just for seniors. Plenty of people have trouble with their balance when doing certain exercises they aren’t used to doing and even when they are used to them.

Squats are top of the list for balance issues. It’s easy to lose your balance while squatting or feeling like you’re going to lose your balance. It’s strange, because squats are also the #1 go-to exercise for balance deficits – for all ages.

So what does this old goat do? Puts two long umbrellas to good use. I don’t always use them as spotters. However, when I’m a little off balance and I still want to squat, these allow me to do way more than if I had nothing.

I don’t lean into them much, just keep them at the tips of my fingers so I can glide up and down a lot easier.

Canes, sticks, a doorway, two countertops opposite each other within arm span also work.

So happy squatting!



DAY 5 Squat Challenge With Steph 9-28-2018

Day 5 – Friday 

You made it through the work week! Today is Friend Friday. Find someone to do your squats with you, be even braver and share a picture on your facebook page of you and your friend doing your squats. Inspire someone else to do what your doing!

Beginner – 8 reps of each squat style, repeat 2x = 80

Intermediate – 9 reps each, repeat 3x = 135

Advanced – 9 reps each, repeat 4x = 180

from Aunt Sharon > Except when I’m walking with Steve, exercise is a solitary endeavor for me. Even if I had a friend, and activists don’t, sweating with somebody else doesn’t interest me.

I can follow instructions, however, and I do like to see how the experts do it, so I can improve what I’m doing and hone my skills based on my needs. And I like to communicate what works and doesn’t work for me, which I do on my website. That’s as social as I get in the exercise realm. In the past, before my activism days, I found that buddies don’t usually show up. Most people – including friends – talk about doing something, rather than doing it.

What matters is that I exercise for me, and that I find the internal and/or external motivation to keep doing it beyond the social interventions of challenges.

I’m doing this challenge and liking it more, even if at times I rough ride through it. Day 5 smoothed out for me – somewhat. I did the SUMO squats in the morning – only that – and it was easier, whereby I didn’t feel the need to pulse squat.

I will do the pulsing as part of my high intensity interval training, because I like the reduced range of motion, quick movements and the burn it creates in my muscles with the accompanying electrical release of tension from those muscles.

DAY 5 I decided to move to the Advanced level. Not particularly a good idea. The squats with kicks and leg lifts add up to 144 squats. Then add 36 reps for the other 3 styles = 108 squats = a total of 252 squats.

In order to do it, I had to break it up into five segments throughout the day and evening. I got creative with the kicks and lifts, out of necessity, but I was present doing something that made all my lower body muscles know they were being worked.

I think this challenge is for people who are already in great shape. I’ll retreat to beginner tomorrow, and wind down the challenge with more control over my movements. I’ll finish having gained that in one week.

Thanks Steph.




DAY 4 Squat Challenge With Steph 9-27-2018

Squat assignment for today:

Day 4 – Thursday

We’re halfway there! Push yourself for 4 more days! How’s your water intake? You should be consuming half of your body weight in ounces every day. With your check in today let us know how your water intake was.

Beginner – 5 reps of each squat style, repeat 3x = 75

Intermediate – 6 reps each, repeat 4x = 120

Advanced – 10 reps each, repeat 3x = 150

from Aunt Sharon > Well, I found some photos online for the SUMO SQUAT which show the feet alignment:

Also the Pulsing Sumo Squat:

  • Start in second position with your legs opened wide to the sides and your toes turned slightly outward. Placing your hands on your hips, bend your knees, going as low as you can. Make sure your shoulders remain directly over your hips and your knees are in line with your feet.
  • While holding second position, make small pulses up and down, moving about an inch.

I’m doing Intermediate Level: 6 reps each squat style x 4 sets

When you get to this many squats it becomes a lot more difficult to use good form. What is supposed to be 120 reps really = 48 more than that, if you count the alternate leg kicks and lifts done with the basic and narrow squats. Forty-eight more is a lot.

Tonight when doing them I felt the squats working my hips and back thighs that I didn’t feel previously.

Those SUMO SQUATS! I didn’t know there was a term for what I was doing about halfway through – pulsing, and counting the pulses as reps. I had no choice. It was either that or not do them. I felt my quads pulling beyond maybe what they should. Hey, my quads survived. I’m thinking of reversing the order of the squats so that I’m not doing the most difficult squats last. Or maybe I’ll do them at a different time than I do the others – SUMO in the morning and the others in the evening.

Whichever way, this is beginning to feel like a challenge.

My fluid intake is always good. Lots of filtered water throughout the day and evening.




DAY 2 Squat Challenge With Steph 9-25-2018

Day 2

from Aunt Sharon > I’m really sore. Just my quads though – everything else feels like it does whenever I do any kind of exercise. I spent four hours redesigning the configuration of all the furniture in half the house. It’s funny, for years when we owned a home I always referred to paying the mortgage as paying the rent, because we rented for so many years. Now that we’re in an apartment again, I call the apartment a house. It doesn’t matter. It’s our living space. I worked methodically, measuring and thinking through the move of each piece and how it would affect the other pieces, plus how many other pieces I would have to move to get the target piece where I wanted it, before I actually made the move, so I wouldn’t have to move it back if I didn’t like it. I have many years experience moving furniture.

As it turns out it’s a great way to get long distance exercise – like long distance running, you clock a lot of time. My purpose is always to make each move (rearranging my living space) more efficient and to make the space appear larger and more open than it is. I also like the change. It’s not easy in a small space with a lot of stuff. This is where I do all my work, so it looks like about four people work here with all the work stations in every room except the bathroom. Plus Steve and I live here with Lilly Belle, so personal considerations have to be taken into account. I’m always happy with the result – as is Steve.

Although I didn’t do my exercise challenges today, I did pay special attention to the soreness of my quads – with massage, hot water packs and stretching.

This is the DAY 2 assignment I will do tomorrow:

Beginners: 10 reps of each squat style

Intermediate: 8 reps each x 2 sets

Advanced: 8 reps each x 3 sets




DAY 1 Squat Challege With Steph 9-24-2018


Strong & Simple Living with Steph

Day 1!!!!!!

Welcome to the official start day!

We are SO ready!!!! Be proud of yourself for doing something FOR YOU.

Regardless of your physical abilities, pace yourself!!

To those that are new to these challenge groups, it can take a minute to get used to the workings and expectations of the group.

Be patient with yourself and remember why you started.

Pay attention to your form to avoid injury.

When you tense your muscles you tend to hold your breath. Inhale on your way up, exhaling on your way down.

Choose the level that’s right for you:

⭐️Beginner – 6 reps of each squat style = 30 TOTAL

⭐️Intermediate – 7 reps of each squat style, repeat 2x = 70 TOTAL

⭐️Advanced – 7 reps of each squat style, repeat 3x = 105 TOTAL

Comment below when you’ve completed your tasks.

*** For the Narrow Squat w/ Back Kick & Basic Squat w/ Side Leg Lift –
Rise back up, straightening the legs completely,

and lift the left leg behind you for a back kick.

Lower the foot back to the floor in a narrow squat position.

Do another squat, then straighten the leg, do a back kick with the right leg, and step the right foot back to meet the left.

This counts as ONE rep.

from Aunt Sharon: For the back kick and the side leg lift, I did both legs. This increases reps for beginners to 42. Intermediates: 98. Advanced: 147. Combining both leg lifts or kicks into ONE rep really means ONE rep for each leg, which equals TWO total reps.

Okay, so I started with the intermediate level. Worked up a sweat and got breathy. My legs right now feel like jelly. Although I’m no stranger to squats, I do mine holding a bar or lifting weights from the floor up, with no variation. This is new – the variation plus minus the bar.

The kicks are good for balance, which older folks need. I need lots of work for balance since my concussion and this will help.

The SUMO SQUAT was the most difficult, since I don’t yet have enough strength in my quads to rise from a deep squat. I did a modified 7 x 2 reps to set me up for future work – let my quads know this isn’t a seven mile walk.

“The quadriceps is a massive hunk of muscle on the front of your legs.

Weak quads are by far the number one cause of knee pain and other knee issues.

You commonly see this in older people who do a lot of sitting all day.

Over time their quads become so weak it’s hard for them to stand up and they also develop knee pain and other issues.

In short, you do not want to neglect quad training.

Quads are vital for walking, running, jumping and squatting down.

Weak quads mean that these functions will be greatly hindered.

One of the main functions of your quads is to allow you to squat.

In only makes sense then that the best quad exercises involve the squatting movement.” (

Thanks Steph






Check out the EVENTS section on her Facebook Page.

From 12 midnight on 24 September to 12 midnight on 30 September.

” Hey everyone! Get ready to join our 7-day squat challenge next week! Squats can be done ANYWHERE, so no excuses for no space to workout. Invite a friend, challenge someone at home, a little competition never hurt anyone 🙂

Starting Monday a different squat series will be posted daily, with variations for all levels of ability, to be completed at any time during the day.

Simply check-in here when you have completed your series and that’s it!

Let me help hold you accountable.

RSVP GOING if you’re up for the challenge.”

See STEPH on Facebook.





7/19/2018 THURSDAY Day 14

Weigh-In = Friday only

Total Calories = 1391

Total Fat grams = 15.86

Fat Calorie/Total Calorie Ratio = 10%