This morning, I sat comparing photos of myself. The photo of the left was taken 9 months ago when I was 3 months postpartum. The photo on the right was taken this morning.
It is amazing the response that you get from your body when you shock with with some good old fashioned hard work. I don't use many supplements really-just protein powder, fish oil, Biotin, and a multi-vitamin. No fat burners or gimmicks.
I am still breastfeeding at this time and have no plans on stopping. The hormones from the process have made it harder to build muscle, but I continued on and kept pushing harder and harder. I work my lower body 3-4 times a week with barbell squats in addition to my Fit Mommy Booty Bootcamp program.
I eat protein at every meal and rely heavily on clean foods. I eat a bowl of yogurt, honey, and granola every night before bedtime to make sure I get enough calories in. Yes, I eat honey before bedtime. (gasp)
But, no matter what I do, I have noticed one huge factor that has contributed to the lifting and shaping of my butt: weighted, deep squats. For the longest time, I had been doing only body-weight squats without much luck in improvement (at least visually speaking).
Don't get me wrong! No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with body-weight squats; however, by adding weights you will certainly tone up a hella lot faster versus just using your body.
I have loved using my Hiit Bar & weight set from the BodyRock online shop for my squats and lunges. Since I stopped body-weight squats and used the bar with the weights, I noticed huge changes in a short period of time.
One huge benefit of adding weights to your squats is that it engages the muscles of the upper body, essentially giving you a full body workout in one exercise. Another benefit to adding weights is that it can improve your form dramatically, not to mention you are working against more of a resistance which helps tweak those muscles into shape.
Here is my daily lower body routine using the Hiit Bar:
- Barbell Squats: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Barbell Lunges: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Let's talk about getting low or "ass to grass" for a moment. There's all of this talk about how going lower is so "terrible for your knees" and this and that, but to be honest, studies have found there is no difference between partial, parallel, and deep squats in terms of the impact on the front knee joint.
Another study has shown that the gluteus maximus is over 25% more engaged during deep squats than when squatting parallel.
And as for the workload on your knees myth? It actually stablizes your knees even more!
- Squat as low as you feel most comfortable and most stable with.
- Concentrate on proper form and good body mechanics and you cannot go wrong!
- Choose the appropriate weight for your experience level and then slowly build upon that.
To check out my Fit Mommy Booty Bootcamp Program to grow your booty too, click the image below!