If you’re looking to keep yourself fit and health at home during quarantine, or planning on heading back to the gym soon, it’s important not to neglect certain muscles in the body. Improving your cardio and strength is clear, but what about the quads? The sissy squat, despite its name, is one of the best workouts for strengthening the quadriceps muscles.
PowerGym Fitness is a provider of commercial gym equipment. Included with PowerGym’s extensive range of fitness products is the sissy squat machine, so they’re more than well equipped to talk about this specific machine and the exercises it involves. In this article, PowerGym will explain some of the ways in which a sissy squat machine can help you improve your fitness.
How Did the Sissy Squat Get Its Name?
If you believe the most common definition of ‘sissy’, you would think that this type of exercise is for cowards. However, this is far from the truth. The name actually comes from a bit of Greek history. The sissy squat is named after the Greek god Sisyphus. The king of Corinth was once banished by Zeus due to his attempts to cheat Death. As punishment, Sisyphus was ordered to roll a giant boulder up a steep hill. However, as part of the punishment, the boulder was reset to its starting position every day, meaning that he would never be able to complete the task. Most illustrations of Sisyphus show his huge thighs, hence why the sissy squat was named after him.
What Muscles Do Sissy Squats Work?
The sissy squat exercise mainly targets the quadriceps, so it’s extremely effective at developing the quad muscles and strengthening the thighs in particular. It can also help you to improve core strength and balance. Compared to other squat exercises, the sissy squat machine is able to achieve almost 100% isolation on the quads. This ensures that the quad muscles are primarily engaged and guarantees a safe and effective workout.
Are Sissy Squats Safer Than Regular Squats?
Another key benefit of the sissy squat is in terms of the safety of the exercise. Sissy squat workouts are believed to be safer than the likes of regular squats and leg extensions as the quad muscles are the muscles that are primarily targeted. This means that there is less stress placed on other areas of the body, including the knees. Therefore, if you are suffering with an injury that prevents you from squatting normally, such as a knee injury, then the sissy squat is a fantastic option to consider.
How Do You Use a Sissy Squat Machine?
There are various sissy squat workouts that you can perform, but the process is relatively similar and sissy squat machines are easy to use. To begin, you adjust the machine to suit your height and position, and to ensure that you feel comfortable. You then position your feet on the plate, making sure that they are aligned correctly with the pads, and proceed to the starting position of standing straight. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with the toes on the floor and pointing forwards. When ready to begin the exercise, bend your knees and lower yourself to the ground into a squatting position as low as possible. During this, if done correctly, you should feel tension on your thighs. While holding the position for a few seconds, make sure that you are able to keep control of your balance. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise for your desired amount of reps.
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