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Exercise: The Wide-Legged Squat

This is a terrific exercise for the lower body that can be done just about anywhere. In the traditional squat your feet are positioned shoulder-width apart, with toes pointed forward. In this wide-legged squat your feet are placed well beyond shoulder-width, with your toes naturally angling out. Whether you’re on a steep slope or the just slightly uneven ground, you’ll find the wider squat is more stable and comfortable, due to its greater base of support.

What it works: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Adductors, and Balance
The wider stance is preferred for its greater control on uneven terrain and to target the inner thighs.

Props: Flat Ground or hillside (face down the fall line)

Starting Position: From the Athletic Stance, position your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart with toes positioned naturally from the heels. Distribute your body weight evenly between both feet. Lift your ribs to engage your center. Press your palms firmly together at the height of your sternum, and lower your shoulders down, away from your ears. Maintain pressure between your palms.

Action: Inhale as you lower your hips pressing your tailbone back behind you and your knees create a 45-90° angle. Be sure to keep your knees and body weight aligned over your mid-foot through your heels. Pause for a second, then exhale as you press up through your heels to the starting position.

Modifications:
Easier: Only lower your hips 2-3 inches.
Harder: Lower your hips until your knees create a 90° bend.

Focal Points:
• For maximum effectiveness, emphasize drawing back of the tailbone, “as if you are reaching for a chair behind you.”
• Keep your spine aligned by lifting and engaging your midsection.

Link to Video + Icon of Wide legged Squat

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