Sissy Squats – What Are They? How To Do Them? Why Are They Called That?

Sissy squats.. what the heck are those and why are they called that?

For years, this exercise has been overlooked and underestimated and just now has it started to gain some popularity back in the bodybuilding world.

But are they really for sissies or are they just called that?

Here we are going to go over this exercise, tell you how to do it, and tell you why they are named Sissy Squats.

What Are Sissy Squats?

When it comes right down to it the sissy squat exercise is one that is designed to make sissies out of strong individuals, hence the name. They are an exercise that is not for the faint of heart, as they will require you to be in somewhat physical shape before even thinking about jumping on one of these machines.

And before you get on the sissy squat machine you are going to want to practice doing the exercise on your own without the machine first.

Of course, there are methods that you can employ when first starting to make the entire workout a bit easier, but they are by no means intended for the beginner.

How To Do Sissy Squats?

For most people that partake in sissy squats, it is the problem of knee pain that arises. This is also one of the reasons that this exercise was not intended for the beginner. This is why a lot of people have to utilize the support of a bench or a similar device.

That being said, the very best way to start mastering this exercise is by starting with the small steps.

1

Start by standing up straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Now, reach out and hold onto something like a fixed bar with your right arm. Holding on like this will not only help you maintain balance as you perform the exercise, but it’ll help you with your form.

It’ll help you when you are trying to go all the way down because this is one of the hardest things about the exercise. In fact, even holding on like this, you still might not be able to make it all the way down because this requires an immense amount of core, lower back, and glute strength.

In essence, you want to be able to perform this exercise without holding on to anything, but it likely won’t be possible at first.

During this progression, the heels of your feet will also need to be elevated. You can usually achieve this by sliding dumbbells under the back of your heels. You can also use a block, but whatever you use, it should be 2 to 4 inches high, tough enough to support your weight, and something that won’t slip out from under you while you are leaning back.

2

Once you are in this position with your arm affixed to a sturdy pole while standing on wooden blocks or dumbbells, you will be ready to start the motions. The goal here is to bend the knees and take your body lower until your torso is bent at a near 90-degree angle.

It is likely that you won’t be able to make the 90 degrees, but remember you are just starting out. 5 reps for this exercise should be more than enough.

3

After you have accomplished step 2, you’ll want to move on to what is known as the burlesque bump. You’ll do this by squatting and pushing your hips very fast. You’ll want to repeat this about 5 times as well

4

The last step is to just repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve completed 5 reps of both. This is much harder than it sounds.

What Muscles Do Sissy Squats Work?

Sissy Squats with machine

As you can see the sissy squats are just another iteration of the traditional squat. They are a squat that was designed to target your calves, lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. In fact, they’ll make these areas so soft and sore that you’ll feel like a sissy by the time you are done. One major difference between this exercise and the traditional squat is that this one was also designed for strengthening and enlarging the quads.

The sissy squats also put a lot of emphasis on major muscle groups like the calves, hamstrings, and lower back, so they can actually help you gain muscle as well as learning advanced movements that’ll come in handy for later bodybuilding techniques.

Sissy Squat Alternative Exercise – The Step Up

There is no denying that the sissy squat is an excellent workout that can target a diverse range of muscle groups. The only problem is that this exercise is difficult. Even with the assistance of a machine or post, it is an exercise that can cause a lot of pain in the knees.

This is why some individuals opt for different exercises that are less strenuous on the body but target the same muscle groups.

One such exercise that can couple the sissy squat is the step up.

The step-up is a great way to challenge muscles throughout your entire body and challenge your balance at the same time. Another great thing about the step up is that it can be done in different variations to add more challenges and benefits.

Some people do then with weights and some people do then while stepping up on taller objects. Whatever the situation is, the premise of this exercise is the same and you can benefit from any variation.

1

To start this exercise, you are going to need a step, box, or bench. This is going to be the object that you are stepping upon. You’ll want to start by standing, facing the step, box, bench, or whatever object you are going to be stepping upon.

2

You’ll now want to interlock your finger and place your hand behind your head. After doing this, you’ll pull your elbows back in line with the back of your head.

3

Now arch your back as far as you can without causing too much discomfort.

4

Step up with your right leg on the object that you chose to use.

5

Lift your left leg until your knee is at the same height as your opposing hip. This should make a 90-degree bend at the knee and hip. While doing this try to keep your ankle at a 90-degree bend with your foot flexed.

6

Step back down to the floor with your left leg and return the right leg to the floor.

7

Repeat this same exercise with the opposite leg.

8

Continue to alternate this exercise until you’ve done it for 20 reps each.

Is It Better To Perform Sissy Squats With A Machine Or Not?

Sissy Squats

It is entirely possible to do a sissy squat without a machine, but some will argue that it is impossible to do the perfect sissy squat without a machine. In fact, if you plan on truly growing your quads to the max, you’ll want to take advantage of a sissy squat machine.

Not only this, but these machines can also help with form, which will also help reduce the chances of injuries. If you want to do this exercise without suffering from ailing knees and joints, you’ll need the proper form. A machine could be just the device to help you achieve that proper form.

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Best Apartment Workout Equipment

A gym membership is going to be expensive and it'll never stop. Once you've signed up, you'll have to pay that monthly fee until you've canceled your membership. This is why many consumers are eager to find a suitable alternative.

Live in an apartment and fit into this category? Then you should think about creating your own home gym. The only problem is that you live in an apartment and your space is most probably severely limited. Don't worry about that. There are many pieces of workout equipment that will make your apartment gym effective, convenient, and will spare you the cost of monthly gym membership fees.

Below, you'll learn more about some of the best workout equipment for your apartment gym.

Best Workout Equipment For Apartments

Punching Bag

By far the most superior piece of workout equipment that most apartment livers and small space goers should invest in is a punching bag. A punching bag is in my opinion one of the best pieces of workout equipment not only for apartments but for any size workout space.

Punching bags allow you to get a full body workout that not only allows you to improve your cardio but also allows you to work on your strength as well.

You have two options for type of punching bags: Hanging Heavy Bag, Free Standing Punching Bag

However, you have to understand that some punching bags are not suitable for apartments. You have to know where to look and what to look for when you are choosing your apartment punching bag. You want to make sure that it of course will fit, but that it is also quite along with several other things that most people forget to look for.

When choosing your apartment punching bag keep in mind, you likely won't be able to hang a heavy punching bag overhead in your apartment somewhere. Well at least most won’t be able to. If you can’t hang a heavy bag punching bag then instead of a heavy bag, you'll want to buy a freestanding punching bag.

Free standing punching bags are usually the type that most people go with, and is the type of punching bag that SmartMMA recommends for people trying to find a compact punching bag for their apartment that will not take up a bunch of space.

Also, make sure that you choose one that will remain firmly on the ground at all times. You don't want the platform sliding around and destroying your floors. Regardless, you'll love your new punching bag. It'll ensure that you're able to exercise at home and get a great workout.

Since punching bags are inexpensive, they make great additions to any modern gym.

Compact Bodyweight Home Gym

You'll likely want to take things one step further. If this is the case, you should think about purchasing a compact bodyweight home gym. The possibilities are endless but you'll want to stick with one of the most popular models.

For instance, you'll find that the Total Gym XLS and the Weider Ultimate Bodyworks are great for this purpose. The only downside is the fact that these products are expensive so they might not be suitable for your budget. Nevertheless, they'll prove to be well worth it.

With some, you'll be able to perform more than 80 exercises with one piece of equipment. This ensures that you'll be able to strengthen your legs, arms, shoulders, and so much more. The Total Gym XLS measures 19" by 51" by 9" when folded making it perfect for apartments of all sizes. Other similar products are compact as well.

If you're serious about strengthening your body and losing weight, you need to buy one of these products.

Pull Up And Dip Bar

Using your body weight to strengthen your muscles is wise. This is a cost-effective solution to the problem and it is a good choice for anyone living in an apartment. With this in mind, you should think about purchasing a pull-up and dip bar.

You can choose from various models but most of them are great for apartments. You'll likely want to stay away from the freestanding models since they might be too big for your apartment. Instead, you might be better off with a bar that fits in your doorway. This keeps things out of the way and ensures you're able to get a good workout.

With this equipment, you'll be able to develop your arm and shoulder muscles. Just remember that some equipment can damage your walls. Therefore, you need to take precautions and choose the right equipment. Do that and you'll be satisfied with the decision you made.

Adjustable Dumbbells

You'll want to take advantage of dumbbells. Once you have a few dumbbells, you'll be able to develop your arm muscles while sitting on the couch and watching television. However, you live in an apartment so you likely don't have room for a large dumbbell rack. And, you don't want to stick with two or three weights. To avoid this problem, you should make the upgrade to adjustable dumbbells. They're far more compact than the alternatives so you can guarantee that they'll fit into your apartment easily.

With adjustable dumbbells, you'll be able to set the weight in seconds. This makes things much easier for you and it consumes less space. Do some research so you can add great adjustable dumbbells to your apartment's gym. Make sure that you can adjust the weights fluidly and that they won't fall off the bar during the middle of your exercise.

Kettlebells

Kettlebell

You'll find that most professional athletes like using kettlebells. The reasons for this are numerous and versatile. Kettlebells are excellent for burning calories, enhancing your range of motion, and strengthening your body. This is why so many professionals prefer using these products. Kettlebells are great for your home gym too and they don't take up a lot of space. However, you'll need to find the sizes that are going to work best for you. Kettlebells are similar to dumbbells. You'll want a few but not too many.

Therefore, you should choose weights that work best for you. Most people won't need 35-pound kettlebells right away. Stick with the lower weights until you've built your strength and endurance. This will prevent you from adding too much equipment to your apartment gym immediately.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a must for in-apartment gyms. The band should be constructed of durable but flexible materials. You will have several options to choose from, some come with handles while others do not. It is up to you to decide which design is more suitable for your workout needs and preferences.

Resistance bands offer many fitness benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to, muscle strengthening and toning, and improved flexibility, stretching, and mobility. It does not require a lot of space to utilize a resistance band. In fact, you can utilize it in a compact bathroom or inside of a closet if there are no more options available.

Jump Rope

Even if your apartment is compact with only a single bedroom, it is possible to jump rope. This type of exercise can prove valuable when losing extra poundage, building cardio, and improving coordination.

You can purchase a jump rope at your local retail store or health and fitness shop. Just make sure it is adjustable with ergonomic handles. This design will allow you to create a fit that is ideal for your body stature and ensure comfort and full control even if you jump rope for over 15 minutes with each workout.

The only potential downside to utilizing a jump rope inside a small apartment is the low ceiling height. Jumping rope inside your apartment will require adequate space, especially in the area above your head. Your ceilings must be at least 10 feet in height to provide enough room for your jump rope.

Exercise Ball

Whether you're working out or working on the computer, you'll want to think about using an exercise ball. It might look like a toy but it isn't.

With an exercise ball, you'll receive numerous benefits. When sitting at your computer, an exercise ball can help you burn calories, perfect your posture, and ease your back pain. Plus, you can use your exercise ball for various workouts. They'll help you get more from pushups and chest presses.

Using an exercise ball is a good way to strengthen your core. Since they're small and inexpensive, exercise balls are a good option for anyone who is going to be working out in their apartment.

Aerobic Platform

You'll also want to think about benefiting from step aerobics. With a good aerobic platform, you'll be able to take your ordinary exercises to a new level. Step aerobics provides you with a high-intensity workout that you're going to love. And, this exercise offers various benefits. For instance, it can help you gain more strength while reducing fat.

The compact size ensures that you'll be able to hide the stepper when you're not using it. If you have a gym in your apartment and you're looking for something different, the aerobic platform or stepper will do the trick.

Exercise Mat

Another piece of equipment that is a necessity for on-site gyms is an exercise mat. This equipment will provide you with a comfortable area to perform floor exercises, such as plants, sit-ups, booty kicks, and push-ups. You don't need a large gym mat but it does need to be big enough to fit your entire body.

You must decide what thickness will suit your preferences and needs best before making an initial purchase. Gym mats are available in various sizes and thicknesses. Just keep in mind, the thicker the gym mat, the more comfort and support it will provide. This is especially true for apartments with laminate, type, or hardwood flooring. The thickness will not matter so much if your flooring is carpet.

Workout Bench

bench

A workout bench is not considered a necessity in home settings. But, it can provide much-needed stability and support when lifting weights and doing push-ups. This type of exercise equipment can also help ensure proper body positions when performing different exercises.

Workout benches are available in different sizes and designs. You do not need a large bench but it does need to have an adjustable backrest and foam foot pad rollers. This design will help when obtaining and maintaining proper body positions.

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