Set your feet out beyond your hips for duck squats.
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Squats allow you to build strength in all the major muscles in the lower body. It's a functional exercise, meaning the movements mimic the type of movements you do during your daily life. There are many versions of the squat. The duck squat involves placing your feet at a wider-than-usual position. Incorporate dumbbells to increase the intensity of the exercise. Wide-stance squats recruit a greater number of muscles and also decrease the stress placed on the lower back.
To perform the duck squat, set your feet so that they're wider than your hips, with your toes pointed slightly outwards. Keep your head up and back straight as you push your buttocks back behind you and bend your knees to drop into a squat. Continue until your knees bend just beyond 90 degrees and then extend your knees and hips to come back up to a complete standing position.
The duck squat is a compound movement, meaning that multiple joints are moving. Muscles surrounding your hips, knees and ankle joints are involved in coordinating the movement. The primary muscles in the duck squat are the quadriceps at the front of your thighs. The quads are a collection of four muscles that extend your knee joints. Your glutes and hamstrings work together to extend your hips and your calves straighten your ankles. In addition, your lower-back muscles contract to keep your back straight.
Adding dumbbells into the mix increases the amount of load your muscles have to squat. Bodybuilding.com recommends holding a pair of dumbbells down by your sides when performing the duck squat. However, this may prove to be challenging with your feet in a wide position and your thighs sticking outwards. If you find that the dumbbells hit your legs, you can use a single dumbbell and hold it with both hands down in between your legs. Another option is to hold a dumbbell in each hand and hold them up at your shoulders.
You can incorporate the duck squat into your leg-workout day or into your full-body weight-training sessions. Complete it two to three times per week with a day off in between so that your muscles are able to fully recover. Perform the exercise for two to three sets of eight to 10 repetitions. When choosing the weight of your dumbbells, pick a weight that will cause your legs to become fatigued between eight to 10 reps.