The Squat

Squats are an incredibly powerful and versatile strength exercise that you can do either at the gym or in the comfort of your living room. With legs spread slightly further than shoulder-width apart, point toes slightly away from knees. Maintaining a straight back, slowly lower yourself into a seated position, as though you are sitting in a chair. Arms can be placed in whatever position is comfortable - for balance, holding arms straight out in front of you works well. When you lower yourself to a point where your knees are bent to a 90-degree angle, slowly raise yourself into a standing position once again. It is important to aim for this 90-degree angle, and if you cannot bend down that low, simply squat as low to that point as you can manage.

This entire movement is considered ONE REPETITION. If it is your first time doing squats, try doing 3 sets of 10 REPETITIONS. As you progress, increase your repetitions to 15 or even 20, and make sure to take at least 1 minute of rest between each set. By doing squats 3 times a week, you will significantly improve the strength of your glutes and quads, thus toning your buttox, thighs and hips. These exercises, combined with regular cardiovascular exercise (try to get at least 30 minutes 5 times a week), will significantly improve your strength and muscle tone.

TO BURN EVEN MORE CALORIES: Try a jumping squat. This should be attempted only when you become comfortable with regular squats, and are free from any knee or joint pain in your legs. Begin from the "squatting" position - knees at a 90-degree angle - and jump up into the air, using your arms to control yourself. As you come back down, bend your knees and guide yourself back into the "squatting" position. This is considered ONE REPETITION. See if you can do 10 in a row, and increase this amount as you become more comfortable with the motion...you'll be surprised at how much you'll sweat!