The Squat is one of the most effective lower body exercises you can do and is a staple in many training programs. However, some are not aware of the fat-burning benefits the “pulse squat” variation offers.
The pulse squat is an exercise that involves holding a deep squat position while pulsing up and down. This keeps the muscles engaged throughout the movement, which leads to a more intense workout. Without knowing it, we have all been doing this with our walking and running. But the pulse squat makes us go deeper into a standing position during a movement that is traditionally very static.
How To Do The Pulse Squat
- Stand erect with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your chest up and shoulders back while raising your arms in front of you to help with balancing.
- Tighten your abs and breathe out as you begin sinking into a squat position. Lower yourself down to the squat position.
- As you rise up from the squat position, stopping halfway.
- Lower yourself back down to the bottom of the squat position. Pulse this several times at a moderate pace.
- Breathe out slightly when you rise up from the squat position.
- Do not let your knees drift in front of your toes as you sink into the squatting position.
- Tighten your abs as you rise and lower yourself to the squat position to prevent unnecessary swaying of the torso during movement.
Pulse Squats Benefits
Pulse squats has many benefits such as shortening your stride length, improving your strength for jumping and running, and strengthening your muscles.
Shorten Your Stride Length
Because the pulse squat doesn’t require any stretch in the hips or knees, it increases the muscular activation of the hip flexors and extensors of your knee joints. This results in shorter stride length as you can see with Olympic sprint athletes. The reduction in stride length is usually accompanied by an increase in speed over long distances due to enhanced leg power from the increased strength and coordination.
Jumping & Running
The pulse squat also makes you more explosive during jumping movements such as a fast lateral hop on to a box or bench. The increased hip joint flexibility and ankle strength from the pulse squat will help you jump better and execute a powerful landing. Another benefit that comes from the pulse squat is your ability to run faster.
Constant Muscle Engagement
Pulse squats provides constant muscle engagement because the muscles remain in a full contracted state throughout the movement. This prevents lactic acid from forming due to movement and keeps your heart rate elevated for a longer period of time, burning calories at a faster rate. Pulse squats will also increase your endurance for sports due to the increased cardiovascular efficiency and fat-burning effect of the exercise.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Pulse squats will deepen your squat position by forcing you to go below parallel with each rise and fall of the squat. This will help you strengthen your muscles to improve your stance and balance. You will also improve your core strength due to the constant tightening of your abs while doing the exercise.
Pulse Squat Muscles Worked
Pulse squats are a full body exercise because it works the muscles of the thighs, butt and back. These muscles are also strengthened with pulse squats:
- Quadriceps – the largest muscle in your thighs that aids in knee extension.
- Hamstrings – an important muscle group that supports the movement of hip extension.
- Gluteus Maximus – a large muscle in your buttocks that aids in hip extension.
- Core – pulse squats also work your core muscles to keep you from swaying forward as you squat.
Adding the Pulse Squat to your daily regimen will give you an amazing workout in as little time as 5 minutes. You can add them to the end of your normal leg workout, or if you have a busy schedule, pulse squats can be done a few times a week on their own.
Pulse squats will help you burn calories at a faster rate and improve your endurance for sports. If you are looking for an effective leg exercise that is easy to fit into your day, consider adding pulse squats into your routine.