The ankle squat (also called the female squat ) is a multi-joint isolated quadriceps exercise that you can perform anywhere. All you need is a little space and a place to hold on to. The female squat has a moderate to high base difficulty, depending on the performer’s own weight. Lighter fitness enthusiasts will find it moderately difficult, and for heavier ones it can be a challenge.
Muscle groups performing the movement
- Quadriceps femoris, Quadriceps femoris.
Significant synergists do not participate in the movement.
- Buttock muscles (Gluteus maximus);
- Thigh closing muscles (Adductors)
- Soleus (Soleus)
- Calves (Gastrocnemius);
- Rectus abdominis muscle (Rectus abdominis);
- Oblique abdominal muscles (Obeliques).
Female squats are not recommended for overweight beginners, as well as for people with knee and ankle problems, due to the aggressive load on the joints in question during the performance.
According to the amplitude
- Full squat – classic performance;
- Half-squat – the more popular, shortened version. With it, the load in the joints is reduced.
According to the involvement of the legs and arms
- Made with two legs without support – classic design;
- Filled with two legs with holding – the most popular option, because of the ability to adjust the intensity;
- One-legged holding – a very heavy option, requires great strength in the quadriceps and good balance.
According to the position of the steps
- Shoulder stride – a classic option;
- Assembled legs – an easier to implement option.
Technique of execution of a classic variant
- Stand next to the chosen holding position (Swedish wall, portal pulley, Smith machine) and grab yourself a foot above your waist;
- Put your feet in a shoulder stride, tighten the grip to the fulcrum;
- Rise your toes, bring your knees forward and slowly and in a controlled manner, begin to descend backwards, trying to keep your hips in line with your spine.
- When your knees are at a right angle, hold and start standing for a half squat or continue even slower for a full squat.
- When your knees are at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees (full squat), begin to straighten, lifting your body, relying only on the strength of your quadriceps.
- Once standing in the starting position, rest for 2-3 seconds and do a new squat.
Ankle squats are a great isolation exercise for the lower quadriceps . If you are training to gain muscle mass, you can include it as your first or second exercise in your thigh program. In case you want functionality – movement, it would be useful for you to improve the knee-extending motor chain, if you think that its weak point is the lack of strength in the quadriceps.