Hey there, workout freaks! How many squats can you do? They’re all the rage. I can do like 100 in a row with a super heavyweight. Get on my level, bro! I’m kidding, don’t you just hate those people? All jokes aside, squats do have some major benefits. Just try one of the many methods on your own and see for yourself.
wDo they build your joints? Can they assist you in performing physical tasks better? Will you burn calories quicker than usual? We’re talking all that AND more…
1. Builds Stronger Joints
Doing squats helps to build your body’s joints. To be clear, a squat is a strength exercise where a person lowers their hips from a standing position. Once they are ready, they make their way back up. Squats are among the most compounded exercises the lower body can go through, as it requires an assortment of muscles and joints to work together.
Joints are formed when your bones come together. Think of it as a street intersection located within your body, or a hinge connected to a door. Joints allow you to wiggle your hips, bend your knees, turn your head and perform other physical functions. If they are not healthy, this can lead to damaged cartilage or arthritis. When performed correctly, squats engage your hip, knee and ankle joints all at once.
For a while, it was believed that squats contributed to the injury of your knee joints, as the pressure squats place on the knees can be overbearing when weight is involved. After an analysis was done in 2013, people’s concerns were put to rest, as the workout does not increase your risk of injury. You still need to be cautious of your safety though.
2. Helps You Build Muscle
On top of joints, squats also work a diverse group of muscles including quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, abdominals, lower back and glutes. If performed on a regular basis, you’re looking at a well-toned lower half of the body.
During this exercise, your quads are put to one heck of a test, as you will be bending your knees with a potentially heavy weight in your possession. Your abs will also be working overtime in order to prevent you from falling forward.
When your body travels upwards and hips require extension, your glutes and adductor magnus are also placed into physical labour.
When doing this exercise, you will want to make sure your form is correct. The angle of your knees can be a defining factor in whether or not your quads and glutes or activated. If you’re looking for those toned quads, be cautious of how this exercise is performed.
3. Assists In Weight Loss
When it comes to exercises associated with burning calories, it’s not often you see squats at the top of the list. Be that as it may, the workout is great if you would like to shed some fat while packing on muscle.
But there are still several factors you need to take into account, such as body weight, length of workout and the overall intensity of your exercise. The harder you go, the more likely you are to burn calories.
The level of intensity of physical activity is known as the metabolic equivalent, or MET. Sitting still, laying in your bed has the MET of 1. But when doing squats, your MET level can shoot up as far as 8.
You need to remember to factor in your body weight as well. Let’s say you are less than 155 pounds. If you squat at a level 8 for longer than 25 minutes, you potentially could lose 222 calories. If your squat level is less than 3.5, doing it for the same amount of time will burn less than 100.
Either way, if you are looking to begin a weight journey, squats are not a bad option to start with.
4. Boosts Your Strength
Not only can squats improve the look of your muscles, they can also enhance your strength, as well as the ability to perform physical tasks. This is especially important if you are an athlete. Your speed and ability to jump are greatly impacted by the power of squats.
A study from 2016, focused on healthy young male athletes as they took part in 8 weeks of jump squat training. Jump squats are where you begin with lowering your hips like any regular squat, and end by jumping back up. Completing this exercise three times a week, researchers concluded that the exercise improved several of their athletic capabilities.
They were able to complete 50 metre sprints in a quicker amount of time. Not to mention jumping ability and strength was also enhanced.
5. Boost Your Heart Health
Due to the intensity of the exercise, squats can strengthen your ticker. This in turn can lower your heart rate, blood pressure and bad cholesterol. When these variable are maintained, you are actually assisting your heart in avoiding disease, decreasing your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Even if you are exercising at a moderate level of intensity, you still have a chance to decrease the risk of heart disease.
6. Strengthens Your Core
Have you been wishing for that core of steel? Has taking your shirt off at the beach, exposing a set of rock hard abs been an ambition for a while? Well squats can be your ticket. A strong core can improve your ability to complete everyday movements, as well as maintain proper balance and posture. In other words, better core strength leads to stabilized muscles.
During a 2018 study, researchers focused on exercises that support your back. As it turns out, back squats showed better muscle activation for the core than planking did. Researchers recommended to those looking to improve their core function, that they should implement squats into their regular workout regimen.
7. Prevents Injury
How wild is this? The exercise that appears the most likely to hurt you actually prevents you from getting injured. It’s weird how things work.
Remember earlier when we spoke about squats strengthening joints and bones? Well squating also assists in the tightening of tendons and ligaments which is great for preventing, or at least lowering your risk of injury.
This is another reason why many athletes choose to do squats, as many sports related injuries involve torn ligaments. Squats strengthen your body’s supportive tissues, which decrease your chances of injury during physical activity.
With that being said, I can’t stress proper form enough. When training in squats, be sure to have your technique down solid. You don’t want to injure yourself mid-exercise. This leads us into another point.
8. Improves Your Flexibility
For you young folks out there, flexibility may not seem all that important. But as you get older, it truly is. As years pass us by, our ligaments and tendons lose flexibility, making it harder for you to stretch or move around. This in turn makes it more difficult to manage physically.
Here’s the tricky part. Many people lack the flexibility to begin with, which makes doing squats just that much harder. To stretch your muscles to their ultimate capacity, remember to do a warmup exercise before getting into the squats, or any workout for that matter.
Back squats can have a particularly costly effect on your hamstring muscles. Back in 2017, researchers began a 9 week training experiment, which focused on 22 male bodybuilders. The purpose was to test the strength of their hamstring flexibility. In the end, they realized that the high intensity of the exercise was actually decreasing the flexibility of their hamstring muscles. So be really cautious when attempting squats. Especially when weights are involved.
9. You Can Do Squats Anywhere
Squats are among the most simple exercises around. Think about it… While you can complete the workout with weights, they are not a requirement. All you really need is a big enough space to do the exercise properly.
To see the results you’re aiming for, fitness experts recommend you start out doing 20 squats per day. This is a pretty basic number that can easily increase once you are used to the routine. If you are interested in boosting your health, 50 squats can be something to work towards.