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Weightlifting Split Squats and Side Squats

Split Squat

1. The weight can be placed in front or behind.

2. Place one foot forward and one back with the heel lifted. There should be about 2-3 feet in between your legs, and you should feel a gentle stretch.

3. Keep a tight core and bend both knees to descend. Keep that front foot flat on the floor at all times. The back foot's heel is lifted.

4. When you push back up focus on using both legs (quadriceps in the front, hamstrings in the back leg) to assist the lift, oppose to just the quads in the front.

Note! There is a difference between a split squat and a lunge. They do look very similar and some people actually do split squats thinking that they are doing a lunge. A split squat is an up and down movement only. A lunge moves with direction, taking steps forward and backward lunges. In a one leg squat you are simply dropping the back knee and bending the front leg. In the lunge you use hip flexors as you lunge and move forward with a longer back leg.

Side Squat

This exercise is also similar to a lunge except your feet will stay planted the whole time.

1. Take a wider than squat-normal stance with toes turned out slightly. The weight held behind. If using dumbbells, place them on your shoulders or at your sides.

2. With a very slight bend forward and a straight back, push hips back as you squat to the right. Keep both feet flat. Exhale on the way back to centre and repeat on the left side. That's 1 rep.

Repeat with the other leg.

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