Crossfit Bodyweight Exercises are designed to cover a diverse range of movements in high intensity, short duration workouts that last about 10 to 20 minutes in length. The overall aim is to combine a variety of movements that will improve one’s general fitness level. One of the most important exercises in relation to Crossfit is the squat. It is designed not only to build muscle, but also power and strength. Sissy Squats are one of the best exercises for achieving these goals when you find yourself looking for diversity in your leg exercises and a more targeted approach to your quadriceps. Don’t be fooled by the effeminate name, this exercise is a killer, making other squat routines look sissy in comparison! The movements look deceptively simple but don’t take them for granted, the Sissy Squat is not an easy squat to perform. The Sissy Squat is a phenomenal compliment to any squat routine and can be easily be adapted for any level of athlete.
Sissy Squat Instructions:
Generally, the Sissy Squat is performed without weights. Make sure you have something to hold onto for proper support. Next imagine how someone might look when performing the limbo dance underneath a bar. As you squat down, shift your weight onto your toes and lean back.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed out slightly. Using one or both hands hold on to the support bar you have selected slightly higher than hip level. You are only doing this to maintain your balance.
Step 2: Your waist and hips should be straight. Your back and core should be tight. As you begin your descent into the squat, bend your knees and push them down and forward as you lean back. The heels of your feet should come up slightly off the floor as your weight shifts forward onto the balls of your feet.
Step 3: Continue going lower until your knees are fully flexed and parallel to the floor.
Step 4: Pause for just a moment, then begin ascending into your starting position in one slow and controlled motion. You should feel as though you are pushing through the floor as your heels return to the floor and your legs straighten.
Step 5: Between reps, take a breath. Exhale upon the completion of the rep. Continue to repeat until you have achieved your desired number of repetitions.
Scaling The Sissy Squat
As you advance in your strength level, you can add in a weighted plates, dumbbells, or a weighted vest to increase resistance.
Since the 1960’s the people have been performing the sissy squat. It is an exercise designed to put all the focus on the quadriceps and eliminates other muscles from the movement. In addition to developing your quads, the sissy squat will help you strengthen your core and improve your balance. Beginners should not add any additional weight other than their own body weight when they first being their routine. The advanced athlete will benefit by the addition of weight to create more resistance.
Don’t be intimidated if you find the sissy squat to be a bit of a challenge in the beginning. At first you may experience a burning sensation or feeling your quads pump up. Like any other exercise it will take time to get used to it. However, before you know it your legs will go from a twig shape right into a stout tree formation.
The sissy squat is known for properly isolating the muscles of the quadriceps better than any other type of barbell or dumbbell exercise known today. The muscles of the hamstrings and glutes are eliminated as much as possible and it allows the focus to be placed directly on the quadriceps so that the tear drop shape that is so coveted can be adequately carved out.
Avoid utilizing your arms to much. The sissy squat is not designed to be a one-arm type of pull up. The emphasis of the sissy squat is quadriceps – quadriceps – quadriceps! Therefore, although it’s tempting to gain a support through the use of your arms to augment the motion, refrain from using your upper limbs to aid in the strengthening of your locomotive muscles. The arms are only exist in this exercise as a brace for maintaining balance during the exercise. By positioning your arms at or just above waist level on the post, your arms will not absorb your body weight until you reach the bottom of the set. Make sure as you move forward and bend your knees you rise as high up on the balls of your feet as you can. If you keep your feet flat, more of your glutes and hamstrings will be pulled into the equation and you want to avoid that. If you add in a weight plate for added resistance, make sure to use your chest as a shelf for the weight plate. Keep your abdominal muscles tight along with your lower back muscles. You want to imagine that your chest is as parallel in relation to the floor as possible.
Proper form is very important when it comes to the sissy squat. This exercise is a perfect addition to your Crossfit Bodyweight exercise routine. Don’t worry if you are new to this layout of exercise and you find you are really sore. Keep working on it and move forward progressing day by day. Over time your will find your legs are becoming increasingly powerful and strong. This is an excellent goal to aim for.