STRENGTH TRAINING

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Prisoner Squats

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

Benefits
Squats are probably the most useful exercise you can do at the gym-no other single exercise encourages more muscle growth. With a range of motion that incorporates many different muscle groups in the legs, core and upper body, squats not only strengthen those muscles, but also strengthen the tendons and ligaments that connect them. In addition to their strength-building benefits, squats also teach you core stabilization, which is important for almost any athletic endeavor.

Muscles Worked
Legs
Full body

Starting Position
Stand in front of a flat bench with your arms up at the sides of your head with elbows bent, your hands gently cupping the sides of your head, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your feet so that your toes are pointed straight ahead (see Photo 1).

Exercise With Flat Bench

  1. From the starting position, slowly lower down until your butt is resting on the flat bench. Keep the majority of your weight back on your heels as you go down, while still applying pressure through the balls of your feet. Push your chest out very slightly in front of you to counterbalance the heavy load on your heels (see Photo 2).
  2. From the seated position, reverse motion and drive up through your heels (while still applying pressure through the balls of your feet) to return to the starting position (see Photo 3).
Exercise Without Flat Bench
  1. From the starting position, slowly lower down to a fully squatted position, pulling your weight down through your leg muscles as you descend. Keep your weight back on your heels as you go down. Push your chest out very slightly in front of you to counterbalance the heavy load on your heels (see Photos 3 and 4).
  2. From the seated position, reverse motion and drive up through your heels to return to the starting position.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.