Squats are a vital exercise in everyone’s training programs. So, if you are looking for the optimal way to fire up your total fitness & achieve serious results then make sure full free weight squats are a regular component of your training regime.
Squats are relatively easy to execute, they actually require no equipment & can be completed by just about anyone, anywhere & are also readily delivered in most GX Classes from HIT, HIIT, MetaFit, Body Pump, Body Step through to some Mind & Body classes.
More importantly, although squats are often regarded as pure leg exercises, they actually provide benefits throughout your entire body, including deep within your core & of course are intrinsic to developing a decent behind AKA your butt.
What makes squats such an all-round beneficial exercise?
Squats help to build your leg muscles (including your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, & calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes total-body muscle building head to toe.
If performed properly then squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone & human growth hormone in your body, which are essential for solid muscle growth & will also help to improve total muscle mass when you train other areas of your body. Remember squats actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
Functional exercises are any that help your body perform everyday life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment.
Squats are one of the best functional exercises known to human anatomy. Humans have been squatting since the stone age / Neanderthal man. When you perform squats, you build muscle & help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility, functionality & balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving optimally in everyday life.
Squats are a time-efficient & effective way to burn calories. A physiological statistic to bear in mind is that for every kilogram of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 125 – 200 odd calories per day. Do the math yourself & see what an additional 5 kilograms of pure muscle will do for your average calorie burn.
Toned powerful legs & a rock-solid butt are both crucial for staying mobile as you age & squats are superb for increasing total lower-body strength. Squats work your core, stabilize all your muscles which will help you to maintain total body-balance, while also optimizing the synapses & electrical pulses & so communication between your brain & your individual muscle & muscle groups.
Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments & related connective tissue, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your balance, flexibility & mobility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles, knees & hips).
Weekend warrior, regular athlete or a sedentary office worker you will be pleased to learn that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability & prowess. Squatting has been evidenced to assist athletes run faster, jump higher, while increasing power to bodyweight ratio. This is why squatting is part of every single professional athlete’s training program.
Few exercises work as many muscles as the a well-executed total squat, so it is an excellent multi-purpose exercise to perform. It is vital for tightening, toning & sculpting your butt, abs, & of course, your legs.
Remember that squats build your largest muscles in the lower body; quadriceps, hamstrings & glutes. Like all muscles, these muscles also participate in the regulation of glucose & lipid metabolism along with insulin sensitivity thus helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes & cardiovascular disease.
Squats also improve the circulation of body fluids, aiding in removal of toxic waste & delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs & glands. Squats are also useful for improved movement of digestive waste through your colon & assist in more regular bowel movement.
Squats have often been criticized for being destructive to your knee joints, but research shows that when done properly, squats actually improve knee stability, functionality while strengthening relevant connective tissue.
Basic execution of a squat: Warm up & mobilize lower body & legs. Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart. Keep your back in a neutral position (with L1-L5 protected). Keep your knees centered over your ankle to mid-foot. Slowly & controlled bend of your knees, dropping (hinging) your hips & rocking forward slightly through your ankles, lowering squarely until you reach a 90-degree angle for beginners. Return to controlled & explosively to starting position. Repeat 10-16 repetitions per set & execute 3 sets for beginners. Execute squats at least three times a week during training regimes. Inhale in as you lower into your squat & exhale out as you return to starting stand-up position.
Good squats in April & beyond.