Restarting Your Fitness Routine

Man on Rowing Machine
Man on Rowing Machine

For some of you, it’s likely to have been a while since you last stepped into a gym. It might have even been a considerable amount of time since you last worked out at all. That’s totally understandable and we don’t want you to put any extra pressure on yourself now that our gym doors are open again and we’re welcoming you back safely. 

The most important thing right now is to regain focus and to ease yourself back into a fitness routine. Be kind to yourself in the coming days, weeks and months. Remind yourself of all that’s been going on in the environment around you. Even if you’re in a huge rush to get back in the gym and restore your muscles or drop your weight, you need to protect your health as much as possible whilst you’re with us at Xercise4Less – both physically and mentally.  

Bicep workouts - woman curl

Protecting Your Health

Now is the time to adapt to your new normal and establish a new routine that suits your current fitness level and your lifestyle. Before our gym closures, you may have been visiting the gym before work or after finishing lectures at university and that could have all changed now. Use these next few days, weeks and/or months to figure out how your new routine will work for you and, how it will allow you to make amazing progress on your fitness journey.  

Try not to think too much about ‘picking up where you left off’ and instead, focus on how you’re feeling right now. If you push yourself too hard or ask your body to do something unnatural, this could relate in an injury or severe pain which in turn can have a serious impact on your mental health.  

Focusing on Mindfulness  

For the time being, we encourage you to make mindful fitness your main objective. This means that you have set reasons for why you’re heading to the gym and outlining what your overall goal is whilst enjoying yourself at the same time. Mindful fitness doesn’t mean that you’re doing this slowly, it just means that you’re taking things at your pace and figuring out your routine and how you’re going to get to your overall targets and goals. Try to pay less mind to the changes on your fitness journey and instead switch that focus to your original goals set out of the start of this month or even this year as this will help you keep pushing yourself and help you remain motivated.  

Even if it does end up taking you slightly more time than you originally set out, your goals are very much still within reach and a healthier and happier version of you is still within sight. Why not use these next few weeks to perfect your form or to take more time for a warmup and cool down stretch pre/post workout? All of this will place you in a better position in terms of your goals but to get your fitness routine back to something that you’d like it to look like.  

Woman in Fitness Class with Barbell

Returning to the Gym Safely 

For us, the most important thing right now is being back in the gym. Staying active with home workouts over the last few months was great but nothing beats a gym workout. It’s amazing for your body due to the variety available to you with each session and it helps to release endorphins and promote positive mental health. It’s not just the exercise but seeing friendly and familiar faces throughout your workout at Xercise4Less encourages you to feel part of the community. 

Benefits of Squats in Your Training Workouts

Squats in Class
Squats in Class

Make Squats a Key Part of Your Strength Training

At Xercise4Less Gyms we know just how great of an exercise squats can be. In fact, some people swear by squats so much that they think it’s the one workout you should always include in your strength training programme. But what exactly is a squat?

A squat is a compound movement (uses more than one joint) for your lower body and which requires a lot of muscles to perform correctly, particularly using weights like barbells. Squats will build your leg muscles, strengthen your glutes, and tone many other muscles besides.

Ready to give squats a go and incorporate them into your next workout routine? Read on for all the benefits of squats, when you should do them during your workout week and what the best squat technique is for you. 

The Real Benefits of Squats in an Xercise4Less Gym

Squatting with a barbell on your shoulder really builds your main leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves but that’s just the start. Improved lower body strength through squats also improves your athletic performance and your everyday mobility and posture. Squats engage your ankle, knee and hip joints all at the same time strengthening them for normal daily activities like lifting or bending and help keep you mobile longer in life. Literally nothing is left out when you squat though; you work your back, your core, your shoulders, and your arms. By using so many muscle groups in a squat, your body burns a huge number of calories in the process. And, of course, most cardio and sports need a strong lower body so effective squats allow you to run faster and for longer thanks to your improved leg strength. Finally, there are loads of squat variations so you can change up your workouts and keep challenging your body.

Squat Rack

When to Include Squats in Your Weightlifting Programme

You could squat 3 times a week but most people work out with squats no more than once or twice a week so their muscles can fully recover. Squats are usually included on either a leg day, lower body day, or push day.  

If you want an expert to check your squat form, our staff will help you to perform a proper squat. And that’s key because it’s important to get your form right to perform the exercise the most effective way possible. Once you have the right squat form, squats are hugely effective in building muscle and improving your body shape.

Read our brief guide as to the best form for squats below.

Squats on Squat Rack

The Best Technique for Gym Squats

Squats need to be done correctly for maximum effectiveness so this is how you should perform a squat:

  • Stand with the barbell on your back and a slightly wider than shoulder width stance
  • Bend at the knees, pushing the hips back but keeping your torso straight
  • Keep squatting until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Then squat back up to the starting position, keeping your knees in line with your shins and maintaining a straight torso

You can choose from many different forms of squats, but the most common type of barbell squats are the high bar back squat or Olympic squat, a low bar back squat, and a front squat. All of these use a barbell, but the placement is different in each type. As all our bodies are different, your squats won’t look exactly the same as other gym users but don’t worry!

Join Xercise4Less Gyms and Get into Your Very Best Shape

At Xercise4Less Gyms we want to empower you to find the right fitness programme for your fitness goals – and we think that squats are an important part of getting you into the best shape possible.

If you’re not already a member of Xercise4Less Gyms what are you waiting for? You could exercise at a great value gym which provides a non-intimidating, friendly and inclusive environment for members at every stage of their fitness journey. Whether you’re just getting started or want to start training for a marathon, you’ll be inspired to reach your fitness goals when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today.