Squats are an exercise that is functional in nature, meaning that it can help the body in daily activities. They are also a great way to workout the body.
Squats are not only for powerlifters or bodybuilders, but they are also great for anyone wanting to strengthen their body or improve their fitness levels with bodyweight squats or with equipment. Fitness experts actually recommend doing squats over any other exercise, if you only have time to perform one type of exercise.
The benefits of squats include working the calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. They also activate the back and glute muscles. It is a very natural movement. You will find that when you are bending down to pick something up from the floor, you are probably squatting. If you are doing the exercise, the difference is that you are likely paying more attention to your posture.
If you decide to perform squats with weights, you will gain an improvement in overall strength and muscle mass. It’s important to do them correctly with weights to avoid any potential injury. If you want to get to the next level we recommend getting the correct footwear.
Fourteen Advantages From Performing Squats
1. Squats Build Muscle Mass
Many people consider the purpose of squats is to improve lower body strength. But they actually help with building muscle across the entire body. Specifically, squats target the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, lower back, abs and glutes. There are very few exercises that utilize such a high number of muscles simultaneously. By adding variations and getting deeper into the squat, rather than parallel, you can put more strain on these muscles.
2. Squats Reduce The Risk Of Injury
In sport, the majority of injuries are caused by weak connective tissue, ligaments or stabilization muscles. Improving the muscles around these areas, such as the knees and hips is an easy way to greatly reduce the chance of injury when performing almost any activity. Squats help to strengthen all of these areas. Good squat shoes are worth it if you intend to lift heavy and want to reduce the risk of injury.
3. Squats Improve Flexibility
Your flexibility and balance is improved when squatting regularly. This improvement takes place when you move your body through the full motion range required. So at the very least, you should be falling over less if you are a squatter. Also by wearing a reliable workout belt in the gym, you greatly reduce the chances of injury during your heavy squats.
4. Squats Let You Jump Higher
Being a great jumper i.e. for basketball or long jump isn’t just about genetics. Having the ability to extend the hips with power is a key factor in jumping. Squats help to build this extension strength and agility. Not only this, but jump squats will assist in the absorption of power as well. So when you land on your feet you are less prone to injury.
5. Squats Help With Stability and Mobility
As you get older, strong legs and balance become more important. This exercise is great for developing the stabilizer muscles as well as leg strength. This is why you may feel some muscular soreness in unexpected places after some heavy squatting. They also improve the central nervous system between the muscle and brain. Further stability is also one of the benefits of squat shoes.
6. Squatting Improves Bone Density
Any load bearing movement such as squatting will improve bone strength and density. This is of importance as one fo the disadvantages of getting older is that bones can naturally become more brittle.
7. Heart And Lung Health
Squats are not quite a cardio exercise but they tax the cardiac muscle (heart). This strengthens the heart and lungs and it is especially true when utilizing weights. The exercise also helps to improve circulation, reduce bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
8. Posture Support
Sitting upright and having a strong posture is supported by your back muscles and abdominals. So by improving your core strength by squatting, your posture will be improved too. It’s important to also stretch when squatting to get the most postural benefits from it.
9. Squats Help Improve & Maintain Healthy Joints
Being a low impact exercise, squats are great for those who have a concern about their joints. As many joints across the body are utilized during a squatting movement, your joint strength and joint health will be improved, as well as developing stronger connective tissue.
Full body exercises are stimulators for the release of muscle building hormones such as human growth hormone and testosterone. Because squats involve a large number of muscle groups when performing the exercise, these hormones are released. So they help to build muscle all over the body, not just the legs.
The human body likes to grow as a whole. We’ve all seen the skinny guy doing bicep curls five days a week in the gym with not much to show for it. It is very difficult to force the biceps to grow without the rest of the body following. So the easiest way to gain muscle mass is to work the entire body e.g. with squats.
11. Mental Strength
Unracking the bar containing enough weight to crush a man (or woman) requires great willpower. Those who accept the challenge are the ones who achieve their goals and don’t give up easily. Performing squats regularly with a good form helps to build this mental strength which can be used not only in the gym but throughout life. Also, by performing squats lifters learn how to muster up their physical strength efficiently and in the correct way which again can be used all over their life.
12. Squats Burn Fat
As they help to build muscle, your body will require more calories. As long as you eat right, these calories will come from body fat and can expect to lose weight. So you can achieve any weight loss goals quicker. By adding weights to your routine, you will burn calories quicker. Alternatively, daily squats in the morning are a great way to boost metabolism for the day.
Generally, exercise is a good way to enhance the body’s ability to flush away toxins and this is true for squat exercises. Furthermore, the squatting movement has been proven to improve the body’s digestion and bowel movements.
14. Daily Abilities
As well as the health benefits, you can expect improvements in your day to day life. Something as simple as getting up from a crouching position or carrying heavy objects will be easier. In sports, you can expect an improvement in performance.