For me personally, it’s always been a bit of a mystery to me that even though I’m very serious and disciplined in my running training and I to know squats would increase my training and improve my performanceI just can’t do them on a regular basis.
I might try a set or two once or twice a month, but it’s definitely not the training stimulus my legs and glutes need to really improve their strength. Although I know the benefits, how to do them, and that they would make me a better runner, I just have an overwhelming lack of motivation.
So I was delighted to hear about Stealth Squat Trainer and App. The Stealth Squat gamifies squat workouts, making it much more fun to incorporate them into your regular routine. I decided to give it a whirl and see if that would make a difference.
What is the Stealth Squat?
Like a TRX or other suspension trainers, the Stealth Squat Trainer hangs from suspension straps attached to a door anchor. There are two handles that you grab on either side, much like an elongated steering wheel.
The tether’s length is adjustable to suit your height and door configuration, and the ergonomic plastic part you’re holding rotates 360 degrees, which is part of the challenge of the exercise. A central phone holder adjusts to hold any smartphone you use to play games in the connected app.
How it works
To use the Stealth Squat, you hold on to the handles and then squat down, sitting your hips back as you bend your knees and hips as you normally would with a squat. I’ve been a certified personal trainer for 13 years at this point, and have found that training beginners to learn the correct squat technique if they’ve never done squats — or worse, if they’ve done squats but don’t know how to do them correctly — it can be difficult. Many people squat forward, allowing their knees to extend well past their toes, which can put stress on the knees and doesn’t really use the glutes, hamstrings, and quads effectively.
This is where the Stealth Squat really shines. Because it’s attached to the door, to really pick up the slack and use the trainer, you pretty much have to have to sit your hips back and squat properly, which makes the movement safer on your knees and more efficient overall.
Plus, because you have to hold the machine with tension, you also end up working your shoulders and arms, which a normal bodyweight squat doesn’t do. In this way, squats are more of a full body workout. I really felt the exercise in my shoulders and lats (back muscles) the first few days I started using it.
The stealth squat in action
The Stealth Fitness app contains instructions on how to use the Stealth Squat and offers two games you can play with the trainer: Squat Runner and Skate Chaser. Both are video games where you control an avatar and dodge obstacles by doing full squats, squat pulses, or squats with basic twists, while trying to capture diamonds or other points.
I loved the games, especially Squat Runner. The graphics are great and it does the squats way more fun to do. In fact, I had so much fun playing the first day that I was in so much pain the next morning that I had to walk down the side stairs. (FYI, I advise you not to play 12 minutes the first day if you never do squats!)
The app keeps track of your high scores and you can set it to remind you every day to do your workout.
There are also base games, which I tried, not realizing you need separate gear for those. I tried rigging the squat trainer on the floor, but that didn’t really work. Too bad the same unit can’t be used for both.
In fact, my only complaint with the Stealth Squat is that it’s only useful for squats. Although squats are a very effective exercise, I wish I could use the equipment for other exercises so I don’t have to buy and have room for multiple products.
That said, the Stealth Squat more than delivers on its promise of making squats more fun. Additionally, a major benefit is that the design also makes it much easier and more natural to perform squats correctly, making it a safe and effective training tool, especially for beginners.
Whether you’re like me and struggle with squats, or aren’t sure if you’re doing them right, the Stealth Squat is worth a try. Your glutes and legs will reward you for your efforts!
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