If you’re someone who has a 9-5 job, you may often find it difficult to keep up with a regular workout routine. Sure, you could go first thing in the morning, or even on your way home from work – there is much evidence to suggest both of these have their respective benefits with regards to how they make you feel – but what about when your job is a little bit more intense?
Take Formula One drivers, for example. Save from a month-long break in the middle of the racing calendar, these drivers are either spending their weekends racing, or the rest of the week getting involved with the setup of their cars. And if they’re not spending time with their engineers, they’re likely required to participate in PR duties or get into talks about potential sponsorships. Basically, finding the time to get into a gym, even for them, is not as easy as it might seem.
But of course, it requires incredible fitness in order to be an F1 driver, and to be able to withstand the G-forces placed upon them during races. So, any chance they can find to workout, they have to take. Case in point: Carlos Sainz Jr.
The Spanish racer – currently a member of team Scuderia Ferrari – recently showed off how he would normally work out during the summer break, but now it’s back to racing, he’s chosen to enlist the use of his dog in order to continue his quest for gains. Taking to Instagram, the racing youngster posted a video of himself using his canine friend Piñón to perform some front squats.
Watch Sainz squatting with ‘Piñón’ in the video below
He accompanied the unconventional workout video with the caption: “Didn’t skip leg day on the weekend. Piñón was there to give me a hand.” While it’s easy to get distracted by the smiling face of his dog, clearly loving life, we couldn’t help but notice how Carlos has his form pretty spot on, considering he’s not using a conventional barbell or set of dumbbells.
Front squats are a fantastic exercise to add to your lower body workout routines, or even a full body routine, since they’re a compound movement. Instead of placing weight across your shoulders, behind your neck, as you would with a back squat, the front squat sees you place the weight in front of your body. Not only do they build up strength in your quads, hamstrings and glutes, they also torch your core, since you need to engage it to help stabilise yourself and prevent yourself from tipping forward.
While you certainly can perform front squats with the help of a dog, you’re more likely to perform them using a barbell or dumbbells. Here’s how to perform them:
Start with a barbell at around mid-chest height on a squat rack. Stand with your feet shoulder width-apart and hands placed on the bar slightly wider than that. Twist your arms under the bar so that it is resting in your fingertips, with your elbows pointing forwards. The bar should rest on your shoulders, and your fingertips are there to just keep it in place.
If you find it difficult to bring your elbows up so that they are pointing forward, you may need to stretch out your lat muscles, which you can do so by performing dead hangs or some resistance band lat stretches. You can also stretch your wrists by getting onto all fours, with your hands flat on the floor, and rocking forwards and backwards.
With the bar resting on your shoulders, tuck your pelvis in, brace your core, take a deep breath in and squat down. Imagine you’re sitting down on a chair, to help prevent your knees from going too far over your toes. Ensure your knees push out as you squat down. You want to get as deep as possible to put as much tension on your quads and glutes as you can. Power back up and exhale at the top of the movement.
Perform 3 or 4 sets of these with 5 – 8 reps per set, and you’ll build up the strength in your lower body in no time.