So I’m still trying to figure out my new routines, so today was another day of experimentation. Mild experimentation, but experimentation nonetheless. Today’s tweak was taking leg extensions out of the routine and subbing in barbell squats. Squats are a compound exercise, working more muscles at once, and unlike leg extensions, as long as you’re doing them right, they won’t mess up your knees.
Doing them right is the key here. I’ve never done squats before, so I asked one of my coworkers who works out at the gym to show me how. He recommended what I’d seen online, which is to start out doing the squats using only the barbell as your weight, at least until you get your form down right. Doing them with bad form can do more harm than good, so I’m all for that. The empty bar is about 45 lbs, from what I gather.
Squats are trickier than they look, to be honest. The tricky part for me is getting my balance right. You’ve got to squat with your weight back on your heels, making sure not to fall over backwards. You’ve also got to make sure your knees don’t go past your toes, to make sure you’re not screwing up your knees. It’s a balancing act, for sure, and why all of those core muscles, not to mention most of your leg muscles, get activated trying to keep you from falling down.
I’ll probably keep to the bar for my next leg day workout, and go up 5 to 10 lbs each time after that. I’m not concerned with getting the weight up fast. I just want to do it right. I’ve spent too much time injured to go at things too fast now.
Speaking of injury, I should mention that I didn’t run today, but did an ArcTrainer session to warm up, so I can give my foot an extra bit of rest. Might get back to running by the end of the week, but we’ll see.