The Best Squat Challenge For Women [How Far Can You Go?]

Welcome to the Postpartum Trainer’s Squat Challenge.

This isn’t your typical 30-day challenge where you simply increase the number of squats you do.

This will be a different kind of challenge that will help you

  • improve your strength,
  • increase your lean muscle mass,
  • improve your mobility, and most importantly
  • give you a long term fitness plan

The best part is, you can start even if you are an absolute beginner.

postpartum-squat-challenge

Disclaimer

***READ FIRST***

Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.

Ok, moving on.

How many squats should a beginner do?

If you are an absolute beginner, any amount of squatting will be beneficial. Even if that’s just 3-5 squats.

As you become more comfortable, a good goal is 8-10 repetitions with proper form. Ultimately, you can increase that number to 15 repetitions per set.

This challenge will help you do just that.

Is This A 30-Day Squat Challenge?

No. The postpartum squat challenge is not meant to last 30 days.

I am sure you have seen 30-day squat challenges circulating the internet.  In general, these squat challenges have you start with 20-50 squats per day, increasing that number as the days go by.

Ultimately, you end up doing 200-300+ squats on the final day. 

Although these may be fun, I am not a fan of them.

How long does it take to see results from squatting?

You can begin to see results from squatting in as little as 30 days, which is what makes the 30-day squat challenge appealing.  But I want to offer you something much better.

In just a moment, you will learn what the Postpartum Trainer’s squat challenge is all about.

But first, I want to make sure that you know how to squat properly.

postpartum-squats

How To Squat Properly

Before you do any type of squat challenge, it is important that you dial in your technique.

Thankfully, there are only a few key things you need to be aware of. Here is how to do a basic squat, step-by-step.

  • Set your feet at a distance that is shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  • Point your toes out about 15-30 degrees.
  • Next, brace your core muscles and squeeze your glutes.
  • This is the starting position.
  • Begin the squat by simultaneously bending at the hips and the knees.
  • Push your butt back while keeping your spine neutral and your chest up.
  • Make sure that your heels remain flat on the floor, and do not let your knees collapse inward.
  • Only go as low as you can maintain proper form.
  • Once you reach the bottom of the squat position, reverse the movement and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

Okay, now that you know how to execute a perfect squat, let’s get to the challenge.


Get The Printable

You can get the entire challenge in one convenient PDF by entering your email below and joining my mailing list. That way, you can print it out and have it with you as you go through the program!

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The Postpartum Trainer’s Squat Challenge

The postpartum squat challenge is composed of 3 phases and 12 levels.

Each level introduces a different variation of the squat.

If you cannot accomplish the workout, you will repeat the level until you are able to do all of the required work with perfect form.

In general, each week is composed of three days of squatting, two days of pelvic floor-specific work, and one day of general activity such as walking.

Take your time through the exercises. This isn’t meant to be rushed!

In fact, every squat should be performed with a 3-second tempo on the descent. This is to make sure you are doing the movement correctly and activating the appropriate muscles.

As for the kegel exercises, you can find a full description of pelvic floor exercises here.

*As always, be sure to speak with your doctor before doing any type of exercise.*

Okay, let’s get started.


Phase 1

Level 1:

  • Day 1: Box Squat: 3 sets of 8 repetitions
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Box Squat: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Box Squat: 3 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Day 6: 15-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
postpartum-box-squat

Level 2:

  • Day 1: Bodyweight Squat: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Bodyweight Squat: 3 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Bodyweight Squat: 3 sets of 15 repetitions
  • Day 6: 15-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
postpartum-squat-challenge

Level 3:

  • Day 1: Pause Squat: 3 sets of 8 repetitions
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Pause Squat: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Pause Squat: 3 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Day 6: 15-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
pause-squat

Level 4:

  • Day 1: Sumo Squat: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Sumo Squat: 3 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 3 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Sumo Squat: 3 sets of 15 repetitions
  • Day 6: 15-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
sumo-squat

Phase 2

Level 5:

  • Day 1: 1 1/4 Squat: 4 sets of 8 repetitions
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: 1 1/4 Squat: 4 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: 1 1/4 Squat: 4 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Day 6: 20-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
squat-challenge-postpartum

Level 6:

  • Day 1: Wall Squat: 4 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Wall Squat: 4 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Wall Squat: 4 sets of 14 repetitions
  • Day 6: 20-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
wall-squat

Level 7:

  • Day 1: Wall Sit: 4 sets of 20 seconds
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Wall Sit: 4 sets of 22 seconds
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Wall Sit: 4 sets of 25 seconds
  • Day 6: 20-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
wall-sit-postpartum-squat-challenge


Level 8:

  • Day 1: Split Squats: 4 sets of 10 repetitions each leg
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Split Squats: 4 sets of 12 repetitions each leg
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 4 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Split Squats: 4 sets of 14 repetitions each leg
  • Day 6: 20-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
Split-squat

Phase 3

Level 9:

  • Day 1: Front Foot Elevated Split Squat: 4 sets of 8 repetitions each leg
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Front Foot Elevated Split Squat: 4 sets of 10 repetitions each leg
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Front Foot Elevated Split Squat: 4 sets of 12 repetitions each leg
  • Day 6: 25-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
foot-elevated-split-squat

Level 10:

  • Day 1: 1 Leg Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 10 repetitions each leg
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: 1 Leg Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 12 repetitions each leg
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: 1 Leg Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 14 repetitions each leg
  • Day 6: 25-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
1-legged-glute-bridge

Level 11:

  • Day 1: 1 Leg Wall Sit: 4 sets of 18 seconds each leg
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: 1 Leg Wall Sit: 4 sets of 20 seconds each leg
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: 1 Leg Wall Sit: 4 sets of 22 seconds each leg
  • Day 6: 25-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
1-legged-wall-sit


Level 12:

  • Day 1: Pistol Squat (to a box or a chair): 4 sets of 8 repetitions each leg
  • Day 2: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 3: Pistol Box Squat: 4 sets of 10 repetitions each leg
  • Day 4: Kegel Exercises 5 sets of as many reps as possible in 1 minute
  • Day 5: Pistol Box Squat: 4 sets of 12 repetitions each leg
  • Day 6: 25-minute walk
  • Day 7: Off
One-legged-wall-squat

How long is the postpartum squat challenge supposed to last?

The minimum time frame to get through the challenge is 12 weeks or about 3 months. This will help build your endurance, strength, confidence, and motivation.

If you feel as though you need more time to get through this challenge, that’s okay too.

What if I can’t finish one of the levels?

If you are unable to complete the entire sets and reps for one of the levels, that is okay. You can repeat each level as often as you need until you feel comfortable moving on.

What if a level is too easy?

If any of the exercises are too easy, here is what you can do:

The first thing you can do is add The Postpartum Trainer’s hip resistance band to each exercise.

PPT-glute-resistance-bands

These bands force you to keep your hips externally rotated which provides extra resistance to the exercise, further activating your glutes.

You can get your PPT resistance bands here.

The second thing you can do is add weight to each exercise. This can be as simple as holding a dumbbell (or a heavy backpack) up by your chest during each exercise.

I do not want you rushing to the next level. Take your time with all of these movements to get the best results.

Other Related Questions

What are the benefits of squatting?

There are several benefits to squatting on a regular basis.

Squatting is a functional movement:

  • This means that it mimics a real world movement pattern. You squat every single day, several times per day. Training this movement pattern will make you move better in your everyday activities.

Squats are a full-body, compound exercise:

  • A compound movement means that you train several muscle groups at once. A squat trains several muscles in your thighs (quads, adductors, hamstrings, booty), your core, and even your upper body if you do them with weights.

Squats help burn fat:

  • Because this great exercise trains so many muscle groups at once, you will burn more calories compared to a small, one joint exercise like a tricep kickback. Using exercises like the squat help you build more muscle, and burn more fat in the long run.

Squats improve your mobility:

  • Going through a full range of motion deep squat requires complete mobility in your ankles, hips, and thoracic spine. By practicing this exercise, your total body mobility and flexibility will improve.

Squatting improves knee stability:

Those are just some of the benefits of squats!

Can I do squats during postpartum?

Yes, you can do squats in the postpartum. Want to know why? 

Because women have been giving birth before the invention of toilets.

Why does this matter?

Before toilets, you had to bend down low to the floor to poop.  This means that women would have had to squat as early as postpartum day 1 or day 2 just to relieve themselves.

I go over how to know when you’re ready in more detail in: When Can You Squat Postpartum?

But all of that aside, squats are one of the best exercises you can do postpartum. You can even squat if you were diagnosed with Diastasis Recti.

What does the 30-day squat challenge achieve?

A 30-day challenge achieves only one thing.

Satisfaction.

Unfortunately, it does not set you up for long-term success. As you could imagine, it is difficult to sustain that level of squatting over the long haul.

You are much better off doing a sustainable and manageable challenge that helps you maintain an active lifestyle for months!

Does the 30-day squat challenge make your bum bigger?

The 30-day challenge can make your bum bigger, but it’s only temporary if you do not keep up with a routine at the end of the month.

It is important to continue a long-term, sustainable program to see long-term benefits from squatting.

That is why my challenge takes you through a complete 3-month workout routine to rebuild your strength!


Don’t forget your FREE Printable!

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Final Words On Squatting

The squat is one of the best exercises you can do for your health. Get clearance from your doctor, and start this challenge as soon as you are ready!

Now I want to hear from you.

Which level do you think you can get to?

What other fitness challenge would you like to see?

Comment below and let me know!

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brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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