In fitness and bodybuilding, squats with a narrow leg position are used to switch the focus of the load on the quadriceps and glutes. This is an exercise for targeted pumping and creating truly massive and embossed legs. It is equally in demand for both girls and men.
The exercise refers to narrowly focused techniques or variations of squats. The main purpose of performing a squat when the legs are narrow is to shift the load. In this case, the tension is switched to the quadriceps (outer side). This makes this style of squat useful for creating the so-called “breeches”, which has long been an indicator of athletic fitness and physical development, not only for men, but also for women. Also, such squats help to improve the relief, and due to the targeted pumping of the quadriceps (with a moderate diet), you can achieve a pronounced separation on the hips.
The main advantages of the movement:
Pumping the outside of the thighs (breeches).
The best study of the glutes.
The ability to effectively work out the quadriceps, using less weight (for example, with problems with the spine, when excessive axial load is contraindicated).
Improved balance and coordination.
Development of flexibility.
Improved hip relief.
The disadvantage of the exercise is one, and it prevents you from doing narrow squats with a barbell movement for constant progression (on a par with the classic squat). We are talking about an increased load on the knee joints, which almost eliminates working with large weights for a long time. Therefore, the squat with a narrow leg position is used for a short time, in certain microcycles and no more than 6-8 weeks.
What muscles work
The narrow setting of the legs involves the same muscles that work with classic squats, this is:
Biceps of the thigh.
Adductor muscles of the thigh.
The soleus muscle.
If the legs are narrow to each other, the load will mainly go to the quadriceps, especially the lateral head. It is also better to involve the middle and small glutes in the work, but only if the squat is performed to the parallel of the thigh with the floor and below.
Technique of performing with a barbell
Barbell and free weights are not the best choice for performing squats with a narrow setting. This is due to the fact that this position of the legs is much more difficult to maintain balance, especially if you want to sit low enough.
Remove the bar from the supports, place the bar behind your back, on the rear deltas, just below the neck.
Put your feet already at shoulder level (not close), this is the starting position.
Sit down with a straight back as low as possible.
Without pausing, return to the starting position at a slightly faster pace.
Squats with a narrow set of legs: technique.
It is important to ensure that the depth of the squat does not lead to a round back. For a lower squat, it is recommended to additionally perform a set of stretches, this will increase mobility and flexibility.
Inventory selection options
Like regular squats, “narrow” squats can be done with any projectiles and simulators. The Smith simulator is considered the most optimal. Fixing the barbell eliminates the main problem of free weights – the possibility of losing balance, which makes the exercise completely safe. Also, with this option, some stabilizing muscles are turned off. This is very useful when it comes to focused pumping of specific muscle areas.
The performance in the Smith technique is similar to the version with a barbell. Moreover, in the Smith, you can put your feet close together without the risk of falling back.
The dumbbell version is not so convenient, but it is well suited for home conditions, where there are usually no other exercise equipment or equipment. Dumbbells can be “thrown” on the shoulders, which is more like a frontal squat. However, this technique will help you better balance the weight and reduce the risk of falling backwards. Also, the option with dumbbells allows you to perform almost the deepest squat, given the location of the weight.
How to implement it in a training session
Squats with a narrow stop position are a highly specialized movement. It is not recommended to do it in the same workout with classic squats. The most convenient ways of implementation are usually:
It is performed on a regular basis every 2-3 weeks.
Perform only “narrow” squats for 6-8 weeks or one training cycle.
During the training, it is enough to make 3-4 working approaches, especially if the last one is a failure or pre-failure.
The repetition mode will depend on the goals and other conditions. But this type of squat works perfectly both with a small number of repetitions (6-8), and in a multi-repeat mode (12-20). Doing more than 20 repetitions is not recommended because of the load on the knee joints.