A squat is a strength exercise in which the trainee lowers their hips from a standing position and then stands back up. During the descent of a squat, the hip and knee joints flex while the ankle joint dorsiflexes; conversely the hip and knee joints extend and the ankle joint plantarflexes when standing up.
Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the lower body muscles as well as developing core strength. The primary agonist muscles used during the squat are the quadriceps femoris, the adductor Magnus, and the gluteus maximus. The squat also isometrically uses the erector spinae and the abdominal muscles, among others.
“The squat is one of the three lifts in the strength sport of powerlifting, together with the deadlift and the bench press. It is also considered a staple exercise in many popular recreational exercise programs”.
Looking to build big and strong legs, build muscle all over and improve your balance? Then you should add more compound movements to your workout routine! The squat, one of the best compound exercises out there, builds lower body strength and stimulates muscle growth hormones like testosterone and HGH. Whether you do back squats, front squats, goblet squats, or sumo squats, this exercise should be a staple in your fitness routine.
A full squat is synonymous with muscle growth. If performed in the correct manner, squats not only increase your muscle mass, they also make you stronger, more agile, flexible, and confident. It’s also known that the intensity that this exercise generates will lead to increased release of growth hormone that will help you lose fat as well.
Nonetheless, if performed incorrectly, squats can cause severe injuries to the human body. Some of the most common injuries include knee pain, back pain, neck pain, and even a possible muscle tear. However, when done correctly, the benefits of squats can be tremendous.
If you want to see awesome benefits from squats, you need to perform this exercise in the correct manner. Here are some tips:
1) Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulder width. Your feet should be pointed slightly outwards.
2) Keep your back and neck straight and ensure your feet are placed firmly on the ground.
3) Hinge your hips while lowering your body to allow your b**t to move backward.
4) Lower your body by bending your knees, hips, and ankles, and stop when your body is two or three inches below the 90-degree angle.
5) Basically, while squatting down, your body weight should be placed on the heels of your foot and not your toes.
6) Once you have reached the ‘sweet spot’ remain in that position for a second. Then pull your body back to the starting position.
7) It is vital that you breathe in when you lower your body and exhale while raising your body.
8) You can perform 10 to 12 repetitions before taking a breather.
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Let’s check out the top 10 benefits of squats:
1. Squats Build Your Legs
This exercise works nearly every muscle in the body, especially your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. The Barbell squat is undoubtedly the most effective lower body exercise. While the main purpose of this exercise is to develop your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and lower back muscles, squats promote muscle mass throughout the human body.
This is owing to the anabolic effect that this exercise has on your body. When you perform squats in the correct manner, your body releases human growth hormone and testosterone. These hormones develop in both your upper as well as your lower body.
If you want to build massive legs, do squats at least once a week as part of your workout routine. Beginners should start with a lightweight and increase it gradually.
2. Squats Build Muscle All Over And Keep Your Heart Fit
One of the main benefits of doing squats is building muscle all over the body. Doing squats regularly helps build throughout the body. This compound movement creates the perfect environment for muscle growth.
A squat is a multi-purpose exercise that targets various major and minor muscle groups of the human body. This exercise works your abs, strengthens your lower back, and increases the muscle mass of your thighs.
Squats also regulate the body’s lipid production which helps improve your cardiovascular functionality. Even the body’s insulin levels are kept under check thereby preventing the outbreak of diabetes.
If you want to gain lean muscle and sculpt your legs, squats are your best bet.
3. They Strengthen Your Core
This classic exercise strengthens your core muscle, helping you build a strong foundation. Many times, squats are more than effective than crunches for training your abs. When you squat, your core muscles work to keep your spine stable and stabilize your torso.
4. Increased Hormone Release
This exercise increases the production of anabolic hormones in your body. People who do squats regularly have higher levels of testosterone and human growth hormone than those who don’t squat. These hormones stimulate muscle growth and repair.
5. Burn More Fat
When combined with a clean diet and a solid workout routine, this exercise builds muscle. The more muscle you develop, the more body fat you would burn at rest as a larger muscle mass spends more calories to sustain itself.
6. Squats Improve Your Balance, Mobility And Flexibility
Squats are one of the best “functional exercises” known to man. This exercise strengthens your joints and bones, which helps improve balance and mobility. Not only does this exercise engage the lower body, but it also makes you stable and flexible. The squat increases your range of motion in the hip area, making your body more flexible. Over time, this may reduce back pain and lower your chances of injury.
7. Enhanced Physical Performance
Regular squats will improve your physical performance and fitness level more than any other exercise. When you squat, your muscles become stronger and you achieve better body balance.
Athletes who squat on a regular basis are able to not only run faster but they are also able to jump higher. Interestingly, free-hand or barbell squats are included in the training sessions of most athletes across the globe.
Squats strengthen your connective tissues and stabilize muscles as well as your connective tissues. This in turn minimizes the risk of sports injuries. Squatting also aids in delivering nutrients to vital organs by increasing blood flow in the human body. This allows you to improve your bowel movement and remove excess waste from your system.
Instead of going from one machine to another, add a few sets of heavy squats to your workout routine. Aim for at least three sets, 12 to 15 reps each.
8. Build A Stronger Back
This compound movement builds strong back muscles, allowing you to lift heavier weights. Even though most people don’t think of the squat as a back exercise, it actually hits nearly all your back muscles.
9. Boost Endorphin Production
Research indicates that performing squats is a good way to increase endorphin production. These chemicals act like natural painkillers and lift your mood. If you do squats, you’ll feel better overall.
10. Improved Heart And Lung Capacity
There are different types of squats, and each has unique characteristics. For improved aerobic endurance, squat as fast as you can! Use a standard barbell, without additional weights. This will allow you to squat at a fast pace, which boosts your heart and lung capacity.
Everyone can achieve great legs doing squats. You just need to maintain the perfect balance between the intensity and frequency of this exercise. If you maintain perfect form while squatting, exercise with the correct intensity, and establish the correct frequency, then after 12 weeks, you would definitely have better legs and back.
The List of Exercises to Perform.
The Workout Intensity
To achieve a better b**t, you need to work on both the “fast-twitch” and the ‘slow-twitch muscle fibers. When you focus on “fast-twitch” muscle fibers, you tend to gain power and when you focus on the “slow-twitch” muscle fibers, you tend to gain stamina.
Keep your rep range between 6 to 18 and perform three sets of each exercise (I have mentioned five exercises in the list). The correct way to involve both types of muscle fibers is to “train till failure”. In simpler words, the last 2 to 4 repetitions in a set, should be difficult to complete.
The Workout Frequency
In order to improve the shape, size, and power of your b**t, you need to perform the above-listed five exercises twice a week. Maintain a gap of at least 72 hours before repeating them. For example, if you work out on Monday then repeat this exercise on Thursday. Always take a day off in a week to recoup.
As you can see, there are multiple benefits of doing squats. From building muscle to burning calories to boosting your performance in sports they can, improve your physique and functionality in many ways. So just squat and don’t skip them next time when you do your legs!
Health Benefits Based On Scientific Research
After studying several research papers on the benefits of squats, it would it be absolutely correct to state that this exercise improves your IQ levels, reduces pain, slows down your aging process, cures sleeplessness, strengthens your heart, burns body fat, develops stronger bones/connective tissues, reverses pre-diabetes, increases your stamina/energy levels and reduces stress.
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