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.
Squats are probably the most useful exercise you can do at the gym—no other single exercise encourages more muscle growth. Combine it with the shoulder press, and you have a one-two muscle workout that builds both your upper and lower body.
Stand on the floor holding dumbbells at shoulder level with palms inward and your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your feet so that your toes are pointed straight ahead (see photo 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. Keep your palms facing inward and the dumbbells at your sides throughout the exercise (see Photos 2 and 3).
- When you have reached the depth of the squat, reverse motion and drive up through your heels to return to the starting position (see Photo 4).
- At the top of each squat, perform a neutral-grip (palms facing inward) shoulder press up to full flex and back down to shoulders, and then move into your next squat (see Photo 5).