I proudly present you the third step of the squat progression - The Supported Squats.
This exercise was the first third-step-exercise that I reached. At this step the legs have to carry more bodyweight than they had to with the jackknife squats. It's almost like normal squats but supported a bit by your arms. Nevertheless your back has to be as straight as possible and in the downside part of the movement your legs have to control the whole bodyweight without support while they have a little support at the upside part. This movement strengthens your quadriceps, butt and other muscles of the lower limbs already pretty strong and your flexibility continues to increase.
Let's come to the how-to-perform explanation:
Stand, with your feet shoulder width apart (or a bit wider), in front of a sturdy object that is higher than your hips. A bar, the back of a chair or a table could be good options. Now grasp the object and hold loosely onto it. Your back should be as upright as possible during the whole exercise. Lower yourself down slowly by bending at the hips and knees until your hamstrings reach your calfs and you cannot descend any further (2 seconds). Hold the finish position for a moment and push yourself up using mostly leg power (again 2 seconds). For the last part you can support your legs by pulling yourself up slightly with your arms. This is meant to take a little of the pressure off your legs (especially for the first inches away from the bottom position). Repeat this movement without a rest. If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount.
Target: 3 sets of 30 reps
Caution: Do not raise the heels at any point during the exercise and, even more important, try to avoid that your knees travel forward past your toes (leads to less strain on your knees and this could prevent knee injuries)!
P.S.: At my youtube channel (Andreas Heller) you can already find more videos to the different Progression Series (I'm gonna explain these exercises in further postings).