Squats are one exercise that should always be part of your weekly, if not daily workouts. Whether your goal is to gain strength or lose weight, squats should be a staple. Now maybe you’re hesitant to begin squatting because it is new to you, but that’s totally ok. They are a fat-burning, muscle-building, balance-bettering and equipment-free exercise. If you want significant and fast results, a bum that is lifted, legs that are toned and a core that is tight – then squatting is without fail your number 1 place to start.
Squats target far more than just legs:
Absolutely you are going to start to see a change in the definition and tone of your legs, across all muscles including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. But squats work many more muscles than just that; they also target your bum, core and back muscles, lifting your behind and tightening up the abs.
Once you have strengthened the muscles and are ready to develop the exercise you can then increase the intensity of the entire body workout using dumbbells for your arms and shoulders, and to increase the load of the squat.
They BURN your fat!
Building muscle is actually one of the most effective forms of fat-burning out there and also the most satisfying! You can be sitting on the sofa burning MORE calories than you did 2 weeks ago sitting doing exactly the same thing, all because of your increase in muscle. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day!
Here’s why: Your body requires a certain number of calories per day to keep yourself functioning. When you increase the amount of muscle you have in your body, you also increase the number of calories you require to do this. Therefore, your body will burn more calories per day simply because of your increased muscle mass.
Squats improve your workout efficiency.
Forget spending a few hours in the gym hopping from machine to machine in search of a good workout. Introduce a few sets of heavy squats into your routine, and you’ll see what you’ve been missing. This total-body move will jack up your heart rate and leave your legs burning in no time. You’ll have more time left over to hit your core or add some foam rolling and stretching into your routine.
By moving your body through a full range of motion, you’ll not only build strength, you’ll boost flexibility as well. Deep squatting helps to increase range of motion in the entire hip complex. The benefit: reduced back pain and an easier time getting around in daily activities or sporting events. Squats move your body through a full range of motion so not only are you building strength, you’re increasing flexibility too. They do this by improving the range of motion in the ankles and hips.
It is also a functional exercise which is an exercise that you perform in your everyday life such a picking up a pen or tying up your shoes. All of these types of exercises should be done with a squatting motion, not bending from the hips therefore when you build up these muscles, you naturally move more fluidly through these every-day movements preventing back injuries and strain.
Squats get things moving!
It may not be the most delightful topic but it’s true and important! Squats aid in the removal of waste from your body by getting everything flowing and will therefore increase your more regular bowl movements.
Squats create a stronger lower body.
This may seem like common sense, but squatting varieties are key for developing lower-body strength. Although machine exercises like leg curls and leg extensions may target the quads and hamstrings, squats utilize almost every lower-body muscle in unison, which translates to real-world strength. Since you aren’t locked into a machine, you’re also building stability and exposing potential imbalances between your left and right side. If you notice your hips shifting from side to side during the movement, put aside your ego and work on single-leg exercises to shore up your hips. You’ll be better off for it.
Squats increase vertical jump.
Having hops on the court isn’t only correlated with genetics. The ability to extend your hips powerfully is a key factor in increasing your vertical leap. Luckily, squats build hip-extension strength. As a bonus, squats not only help you produce power, but also help you absorb it. Absorbing impact translates to fewer injuries as you’re coming down from getting a rebound. Include both heavy squats to build strength and lighter, quicker reps to boost explosiveness.
Squatting is one of the first abilities we develop as a child, and it needs to be one of the last ones we lose as we age. Your ability to perform a squat is fundamental to how you are able to function throughout your life. Keep squatting!