There's no doubt about it: actress Jennifer Garner has one of the most enviable bodies in Hollywood. The former "Alias" star has been prepping her body for months for her upcoming role as a kick-ass vigilante in the new movie, "Peppermint," and her sculpted arms and legs are evidence that something is definitely working.
So what is the secret behind the Golden Globe winner's toned physique? Well, it turns out that something is as simple as a squat.
The star's personal trainer, Simone De La Rue, recently shared one of her go-to moves for her clients, including Garner, is a single-leg squat with a one-arm overhead press.
"I am a big believer in multi-tasking," De La Rue told Self Magazine. "This is a great compound exercise for a full-body workout."
Here's why something as basic as squat is so good for your body.
It's a Compound Exercise
When you think of squats you probably think "legs and glutes." While squats are an amazing exercise to help tone the lower body, it's also a compound exercise that incorporates everything from your core and your back muscles. Add in a barbell or dumbbell like De La Rue, and you'll really get more bang out of your buck by sculpting your shoulders, boosting your metabolism, and burning calories long after your workout is finished
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Surprise! It's Also Cardio
You don't need to hop on a treadmill to get your heart rate up. A few sets of squats that include 12 to 15 reps, and you'll increase your heart and breathing rate like you've been jogging for ten minutes. Add in some plyometric jump squats as part of a high-intensity interval training session and you'll be covered in sweat in no time.
It's a Functional Exercise
Functional exercises, like squats, help you perform everyday activities with ease, making them much more efficient and valuable than simply doing working out on a weight machine. From picking up small children to bending down to dig in a garden, squats are one of the most common and natural movements humans make. The more you perform squats in your next workout session, the more muscle you'll build and the more easier the movement will be in your life outside of the gym.
It Helps With Balance and Mobility
A squat, especially the one-legged squat that De La Rue performs, is one of the best exercises to help build balance, coordination, and strength. While it definitely works your legs, including quads, hips, glutes, and hamstrings to perform the movement, it's also incorporating core strength for stability. Though De La Rue makes it look easy, the one-legged squat is difficult for newbies because it demands a lot of strength and balance.
You Can Mix It Up
Probably one of the best things about the squat is that you can easily mix it up and make it more challenging as you move along in your training. Once you master the basic squat, you can move onto working on progressions, including adding resistance, like weights, dumbbells, and bands. You can also move onto mastering the one-legged squat and incorporating a jump box and a dumbbell like De La Rue does.
Who knows? After a few months, you might even have a body that rivals Garner's.
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