Everyone knows that exercise is important. Yet few people want to exercise. More than one-quarter of people across the world don’t exercise enough.
This statistic includes people who work out a lot. The World Health Organization recommends that people should perform muscle-strengthening exercises in addition to cardiovascular ones. All areas of the body should be covered, including the legs.
The sissy squat is a bold way to work your leg muscles. It works within many different exercise regimens. Yet many people have questions about it.
What distinguishes it from other leg exercises? How can the exercise be modified? And just what is its relationship to Greek mythology?
Get the facts, and then get your legs to work. Here is your guide.
What Is a Sissy Squat?
A sissy squat is an exercise designed to isolate and train your quads. The basic version is simple.
Find a block or step that is three inches high. It must be sturdy enough that it can hold your weight, and it cannot slip out from under you. Beginners should use a railing to hold onto for balance.
Place your heels shoulder-width apart and at the edge of the block. Your toes should be on the floor and pointed straight forward.
Lean back until your neck, spine, and legs form a straight line. Your knees should be slightly bent. The sissy squat form can be hard to maintain without support, so place your hands on your hips.
Slowly lower your body backward while bending your knees. You should go back as far as you can without losing your balance. If you are concerned about falling, place cushions around your block.
Once you’ve gone back as far as possible, push yourself up. When you reach starting position, take a deep breath and then repeat. You have completed one squat, but you can keep going.
What Does It Do?
The sissy squat builds a lot of muscle. It works on your hip flexors, which allow your legs and trunk to bend.
It also works on your quads. In particular, the sissy squat targets the fronts of your legs. It strengthens the rectus femoris, increasing the range of motion in the knee.
Though it does not target your core, the exercise is good for your abdominal muscles. They support your body while you lean back, and as you ease your way up, you pull on them. You may notice improvements in your lower core muscles with enough squats.
The squat is also good for people with weak glutes. Though it may increase some tension in that area, the exercise does not target those muscles.
How Does It Compare to Other Leg Workouts?
You’ve probably heard of the leg extension. Most gyms have a leg extension machine, but they don’t produce good effects. They don’t provide enough stress to the backs of the legs, and they do little for the core or hips.
Sissy squats are more difficult than leg extensions. But by being more difficult, they supply better results for the body.
Another common workout is the bodyweight squat. This squat is easier to perform than the sissy squat.
While it targets your core, it does not provide precise support to the backs of your legs. It may not provide a good range of motion in your hips or knees.
What Are Some Ways to Modify It?
Once you master the basic squat without losing your balance, you can add weight. You can hold dumbbells or a barbell, or you can wear a weight vest or weight plate. It might be easier to hold dumbbells since you can use your arms to adjust your position.
Hold your weights with straight arms down behind your hips. Make sure they don’t touch the floor or your mat. Then perform the sissy squat as you would without weights.
You can start with a few reps without weights, then work your weights in. You can also do the opposite in order to cool yourself down.
A sissy squat bench contains footplates and calf pads. They keep your lower legs in place while freeing up your thighs and core. A bench is good for people who struggle to keep their balance or lock their feet in place.
You may find a “sissy squat machine.” This is usually just a bench with added rollers so you squat back and forth. A machine may cost more than a bench without providing additional benefits.
What Other Exercises Accompany It?
The sissy squat cannot develop your legs on your own. You should use it alongside other leg workouts.
When you have moved into resistance squats, add a barbell squat. You hold your barbell in both hands, then squat up and down while holding it.
This develops the hamstrings that run along the backs of your legs. When performed alongside sissy squats, you will develop symmetrical definition on both sides of your legs.
Standing calf raises activate your calf muscles. These help with your knee flexion, just as sissy squats do.
You should stretch before any kind of leg exercise. Engage your hamstrings by bending one leg while keeping the other straight. You can work your quads by holding one foot and bringing it toward your glutes.
What Is Its Relationship to Greek Mythology?
Greek mythology is the origin point of the sissy squat. The king of Corinth Sisyphus was a wicked man. He used cunning and cruelty to rule over his subjects, and his interactions with the gods were no different.
Sisyphus died on three separate occasions. The first time he died, he managed to capture Thanatos, the personification of death. He then returned to the living while the gods had to free him.
The second time he died, he made an arrangement with his wife not to provide the customary sacrifices of widows. When he met Hades, he pointed out that his wife had not made these arrangements.
He then promised to remind her if he was allowed to return to the living. Hades let him go, only for Sisyphus to avoid him and live a longer life.
When Sisyphus died for the third time, Zeus took him and brought him to a hillside. For the rest of time, Sisyphus had to push a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll down and for him to have to start all over again.
The sissy squat is supposed to be reminiscent of this classic episode from Greek mythology. Like Sisyphus (also known as “Sissy”), the person performing the exercise must push against their quads and core. They must lean back and then press forward, and then they must do the same effort all over again.
The sissy squat is just one exercise with roots in Greek mythology. Disk throwing and Greco-Roman wrestling remain popular sports today. Consider trying them out if you want to increase muscle definition and improve cardiovascular performance.
What Diet Plan Accompanies It?
There is no special diet that you have to follow to perform squats. Eat the standard foods and supplements for muscle gains.
Incorporate significant amounts of fruits and vegetables alongside healthy proteins. Avoid eating fried foods, carbohydrates, and empty calories.
Make sure to drink plenty of water while squatting. You may not break a sweat, but your muscles need water to repair themselves after tearing.
You should also consume calcium to provide support to your bones. If your bones are weak, you may damage them while squatting. Consume low-fat cheese, drink milk, and take supplements like VITASTACK that support bone health.
Is It Dangerous?
The sissy squat has been performed since Greek mythology. It is a safe workout, provided you engage in basic precautions.
You should use a grip if you have bad balance or are just starting out. If you are concerned about falling, you can place soft cushions on your step or on the ground. You can also use a bench instead.
Avoid performing too many reps. Your hamstrings are sensitive, and you may pull on them by accident. Do not bend too far back or forward so you can avoid straining them.
Build Your Perfect Body
The sissy squat is a simple yet profound leg workout. Place your feet apart, then lower your body backward. Raise yourself up and then repeat.
It builds your leg muscles without straining your glutes. You can add weights, especially when combining the squat with other resistance exercises.
The squat comes from Greek mythology, and you can incorporate it into any diet plan. To increase safety, lay down soft surfaces in case you fall. Make sure to drink water and eat full meals.
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