Squat It Like It’s Hot: 30-Day Squat Challenge

Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
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We’re crazy about squats here at 8fit. One of the most recognizable exercises out there, these movements are beloved for a reason. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re already advanced, adding squats to your regular routine is an excellent idea.

It’s necessary to note that your form is especially important when doing squats. We’ll discuss that and show you how you can add even more difficulty by taking on different squat variations. Once you’ve perfected the movement, it’s time to take on our squat challenge! By the end of the 30 days, you’ll be a squat machine and may begin noticing some physical differences, too. 🍑

Why squat?

The squat is a prime example of a compound exercise, a movement that takes more than one muscle group to perform. Compound movements are popular because they’re more efficient than isolation exercises (by working more than one muscle). Squats are also considered a functional movement because they mirror a day-to-day activity — the movement required to sit in a chair. Such exercises are excellent for increasing strength where it matters: in everyday life.

The benefits of squats

Squats are amazing for a number of reasons. They…

  • Build muscle. Squats lead to anabolic muscle growth, which occurs when an exercise promotes muscle growth throughout the body, not just in the muscles that are engaged in a particular exercise. Anabolism is the process by which the body builds new muscle and tissues using protein and amino acids.

  • Burn fat. Squats can help your body burn fat more efficiently because the higher the muscle percentage you have in your body, the more fat your body burns. Every pound of muscle on your body can burn around  50-70 extra calories a day! Not too bad, right?

  • Protect against injury. Squats may help reduce the likeliness of injuries because, when done correctly, they strengthen supportive tissues and stabilizer muscles — the most likely parts of the body to get injured during exercise.

  • Improve sports abilities.Doing squats may increase your skills in other sports. One study even suggests that squats can increase a person’s ability to sprint faster and jump higher.

How to squat

Below we’ve included instructions for the standard squat, the sumo squat and the plie squat. Have fun!

Standard squat

If you’re new to squats, this basic variation is where we suggest you begin. It’ll make up the majority of the repetitions in the squat challenge. Proper form is essential, so please read the instructions below carefully and watch our video to avoid injury.

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How to:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart (or slightly wider). Point your toes forward or slightly outward if you have tight glutes.

  2. Engage the muscles in your core, legs and glutes as you lower your hips down and back as if sitting down in a chair. Keep your weight in your heels with your feet flat on the ground and be sure that your knees don’t go past your toes.

  3. Sit at your lowest possible point without letting yourself drop. Maintain a straight spine and a lifted chest. If lowering back makes you feel nervous, feel free to practice squatting over a chair and sitting once it becomes too difficult to hold yourself up.

  4. Return to standing by driving your weight through your heels and squeezing your glutes as you stand up.

Tips (these also apply to sumo and plie squats):

  • Keep your neck long and your shoulders back down away from your ears.

  • Make sure your back is straight and keep your glutes engaged at all times.

  • Balance using your arms and your core.

Sumo squats

Once you see this squat in action, you’ll understand where it gets its name! We’ve also included this version in our squat challenge.

How to:

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders above your hips and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your toes pointed slightly outwards.

  2. Drop your hips back and down as you would while doing a standard squat. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes and hips in line with your ankles (so your knees don’t collapse inward).

  3. Drop your hips below parallel.

  4. Hold for a moment, then drive your weight into your heels to stand up to the starting position.

Plie squats

For this squat, pretend to be a ballerina and gracefully perform the movement. Try them out during our squat challenge!

How to:

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders above your hips. Keep your feet wider than hip-width and your toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle.

  2. Drop your hips back and down as you would while doing a standard squat. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes and hips in line with your ankles (so your knees don’t collapse inward).

  3. Drop your hips as low as possible.

  4. Drive your weight into your heels and squeeze your buttocks to stand back up to the starting position.

Ready to try our 30-day squats challenge?

This squat challenge is no joke, so if you feel like making it a little easier, subtract 10, 15 or 20 squats from the numbers listed below. Feel free to break up the number of squats into smaller sets you can complete throughout the day!

Here it is in bullet point form too:

  • Day 1: 25 standard squats

  • Day 2: 30 standard squats,

  • Day 3: 20 sumo squats + 15 standard squats

  • Day 4: Break

  • Day 5: 45 standard squats

  • Day 6: 50 standard squats

  • Day 7: 25 sumo squats + 30 standard squats

  • Day 8: Break

  • Day 9: 65 standard squats

  • Day 10: 70 standard squats

  • Day 11: 30 plie squats + 45 standard squats

  • Day 12: Break

  • Day 13: 85 standard squats

  • Day 14: 45 sumo squats + 45 standard squats

  • Day 15: 50 sumo squats +45 standard squats

  • Day 16: Break

  • Day 17: 105 standard squats

  • Day 18: 55 plie squats + 55 standard squats

  • Day 19: 60 plie squats + 55 standard squats

  • Day 20: Break

  • Day 21: 125 standard squats

  • Day 22: 65 sumo squats + 65 standard squats

  • Day 23: 70 sumo squats + 65 standard squats

  • Day 24: Break

  • Day 25: 145 standard squats

  • Day 26: 75 plie squats + 75 standard squats

  • Day 27: 80 plie squats + 75 standard squats

  • Day 28: Rest day

  • Day 29: 165 standard squats

  • Day 30: 170 standard squats or a combination of your favorites.

Awesome work!

Take on a new challenge

Completed our squat challenge and looking for a new challenge? Sign up for 8fit Pro and get moving with our extensive library of exercises. You’ll also get over 700 healthy recipes that will help support your active lifestyle.

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