My fastest CC progression is the one in the squat series, so today I'm gonna provide you with 2 more Steps of the Convict Conditioning series (as they are pretty similar I explain both in one article). I have a lot of fun at my routine, especially with getting better and better at the full squats (I'm still lacking a bit of flexibility to perform perfectly deep full squats; still some room for improvement).
Btw.: If you think your legs are already really tough, try out the 30 day squat challenge...it'll give you a big burn after some time (and helps your legs and butt getting ready for the summer!)
Let's come to the how-to-perform explanations:
So here we are...The first squat exercise that requires your leg muscles to balance, move and stabilize your whole bodyweight without any assistence. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards (you can see it in the video). If you want to you can increase the distance between your feet a bit wider as well, so it becomes easier (but try to come back to the shoulder width distance later on). Bend at the hips and knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor (2 seconds). Hold the position for a count of one and return to the start position slowly and controlled (again 2 seconds). Repeat the movement without a rest and try to keep your back straight during the whole exercise. When you perform half squats for the first few times you can use a mirror or ask a friend to tell you when your thighs are parallel to the ground. This really helps in the beginning. Remember to move slowly and don't bounce down (this could actually hurt your knees; especially when you're a squat rookie!).
Target: 2 sets of 50 reps ( If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount.)
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)!
The first part of the movement is identic with the half squat. By the time your thighs are parallel to the floor you have to shift your weight backwards as if you want to sit down (don't fall backwards!). Descend further slowly until your hamstrings reach your calves and you cannot go any further. Hold the bottom position for 1 sec (maintain balance) and press yourself up again by using nothing else than leg strength (no momentum). Repeat the movement without a rest and try to keep your back straight during the whole exercise. The full squat is one of the best bodyweight exercises for working the muscles of the whole lower body, so try it out and never abandon them from your routine (they could be really hard sometimes, but they are worth the effort).
Target: 2 sets of 30 reps ( If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount.)
Caution (yes, again): 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)!
Let's prepare for summer time!