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Squats are ideal for both weight loss and toning, if they're done correctly.
If you're looking for a great way to tone your body and lose weight at the same time, especially belly fat, squats provide a great solution and deliver amazing results in a short period of time. But it depends on how you do them.
While the fitness world loves to talk about "burning fat," what you really want to do is burn calories. Calories provide your body with energy, and when you don't need them, they're stored as fat. So with any exercise that gets you moving, your body taps these calories for the get-up-and-go it needs.
As you work out, you torch the calories in your fat, which is what leads to weight loss. The number of actual calories you need to burn to lose one pound of fat typically ranges around 3,500.
Don't let this number frighten you. With a great routine that builds muscle and helps you lose fat, you can tackle the calories through exercise, which you can boost by limiting your caloric intake each day. And one such routine is centered around squats.
Cop a Squat
There's no exercise without equipment that delivers results in your leg muscles and glutes like squats. As the name implies, this exercise is very simple: You put your feet shoulder-width apart with your back in a neutral position. Slowly bend your knees until they reach a 90-degree angle, ensuring that you distribute your weight evenly over your entire foot (no getting up on your tip toes!)
You can hold your squat for as long as you're able and then slowly lift back up again. This exercise helps you build more muscle. And for every pound of muscle your body gains, it burns between 50 and 70 more calories per day, which can add up as your muscles do.
A Little Calorie-Burning Oomph
Squats alone are more of a muscle-building exercise than a fat-burning one. The motion is fairly static and you're targeting certain muscle groups rather than raising your heart rate. You will use calories, but not in the same way that aerobic activity does. So, why not add some aerobics to your squats?
To do this, take the same stance as you normally do for squats and lower yourself. Once you're in your squat, instead of slowly standing up, jump up. Be sure to keep your neck and back in a neutral position, and let the lower half of your body absorb the impact.
By jumping up from your squat, you're making your heart work a little harder, which helps you burn calories much more quickly.
Lastly, if you really want to add some power to your jump squats, gradually increase their number and do them holding hand weights at your sides.
While you can't govern where your body chooses to lose weight, by adding jump squats into your exercise routine, you can burn more calories, build more calorie-burning muscle and tackle that belly fat.