Squats are a truly fantastic exercise to perform, they have a huge number of benefits, and there are many different kinds of squats, each which challenge you in a slightly different way. The benefits of squats are all essential to a long and healthy life, and they will go a long way in making you a physically fit person.
If you don’t already do squats on a regular basis, you might just change your mind once you read what we have to say and realize how good for you they really are!
Benefit #1: Improving Muscle Strength
One of the biggest benefits that you get by far from doing squats is that they help strengthen your legs immensely, and that is no small benefit at all. Doing squats, especially if you dip down really low will go a long way in strengthening many different muscles in your legs, especially your glutes, hamstrings, and your thighs in general. Also, it is shown that doing really deep squats can engage your glutes up to 25% percent more than squats that are not very deep, just something to keep in mind.
A great thing about squats is that you can start by doing them with absolutely no weight, and then you can start using a bar, dumbbells, or a kettlebell to slowly increase the weight, therefore offering a constant challenge to your muscles.
Of course, we all want stronger muscles because they help us perform physical tasks with greater ease. Everything from doing the squats themselves and walking up stairs to lifting heavy loads is made easier thanks to the squat. On a side note, the squat is known as a functional exercise, which means that it helps to train muscles and motions which you often use in your everyday life.
Moreover, doing squats also helps your body produce large amounts of testosterone and HGH or human growth hormone, both things which help to speed up muscle growth and muscle recovery. Another good point to keep in mind is that you can clench your abs to engage your core, and you can use your arms, or even hold weights in order to engage your arms, shoulder, and back muscles too.
It actually takes a whole lot of core and back strength to properly execute a single squat, and if you don’t have a strong core, after a few squats that will definitely change. Squats may not seem like they would strengthen so many muscles, but they definitely do. There are several research studies out there which prove that squats go a very long way in improving muscle strength, so much so that you will be able to jump higher and run faster just from doing some regular squats.
Benefit #2: Burning Calories, Fat, and Controlling Diabetes
Another benefit that is definitely worth mentioning when it comes to doing squats is that they are excellent in terms of helping you achieve your healthy weight goals. First of all, like we discussed before, squats help build muscle, and more muscle mass means more automatic fat burning. It is said that for every pound of muscle you gain your body will burn between 35 to 50 calories per day just from that one extra pound of muscle.
Doing squats will build lots of muscle and in the long run, that means burning an increased number of calories. Moreover, you can do squats in a form of circuit training, and you can do many reps after another, therefore they are quite the calorie intensive exercise. Your body requires a fair number of calories to do lots of squats, therefore burning away that Big Mac you ate for lunch.
Also, if you don’t have too many calories available your body will turn to your gut and love handles for energy, therefore burning away body fat. If you gain muscle to burn fat, and burn calories through squatting, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit, you will be able to lose several pounds per month without issue. Moreover, squats will also help increase your EPOC and overall metabolism too. The bottom line is that doing squats will cause your body to burn greater amounts of fuel for the same amount of exercise, thus helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
On a side note to this, exercises like squats cause your muscles to burn up glucose in your blood. This is beneficial for people who suffer from diabetes or are at risk of developing it. This is because diabetes involves the limited capacity of your body to process glucose, something that has many extremely detrimental health effects. So, squats can help you burn up that excess glucose which a diabetic body has trouble dealing with on its own, therefore helping you control your diabetes.
Benefit #3: Increasing Circulation, Decreasing Cellulite, and Toning That Butt
Yet another benefit that you can reap from doing some regular squats is that it will go a long way in increasing your blood circulation. Poor circulation can be the result of various issues, with poor cardiovascular health being one of the leading causes. Now, squats are not as good a cardio exercise as something like running or biking, but if you do many reps you will definitely get your heart pumping.
Therefore, squats can actually strengthen your heart and make it work more efficiently, thus lowering your resting heart rate, lowering bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the chances of heart and arterial disease, decreasing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack, and yes, it helps increase circulation too. Increased circulation is vital for people who suffer from poor circulation, something that can result in tingly feelings, coldness in the extremities, and numbness. Anyone with these symptoms should definitely try some squats on for size.
This leads us to our next point, that squats are great for toning your butt, and especially for getting rid of that ugly cellulite. Nobody wants cellulite on their butt and thighs because it looks like somebody did a horrible job paving a road.
Poor circulation is actually one of the leading causes of cellulite accumulation, thus, squats can help to decrease the amount of cellulite on your body by increasing blood flow. There is also the fact that you will end up with a seriously tight and toned butt, something that everybody will appreciate without a shadow of a doubt.
Benefit #4: Better Flexibility, Better Posture, and Fewer Injuries
The next benefit that you get from doing squats on the regular is that they can go a really long way in increasing your flexibility and this in preventing injuries too. As you get older, or if you have a lifestyle that involves minimal movement, your tendons, ligaments, and muscles become much tighter, less stretchy, and they lose their ability to stretch. This is of course a very bad thing because tight muscles are prone to being pulled and getting injured.
Well, squats are amazing for increasing the flexibility in your knees and your legs in general. They do a great job at contracting and extending your leg muscles, or in other words, they act as a great stretching exercise to increase flexibility. Not only will being more flexible help prevent injuries and pulled muscles, but it also helps you perform a wider range of physical activities and it helps increase your sexual performance too.
Moreover, doing squats can help you in terms of posture too. To maintain good posture, you need strong legs, and moreover, you need a strong core and back muscles too. Squats engage and strengthen all of the necessary muscles which are used to maintain good posture and a straight back, therefore helping you maintain better posture. Having better posture not only makes you look taller and more confident, but it can also help reduce back pain and back related injuries too.
Benefit #5: A Low Impact Bone Building Exercise
Yet another benefit that definitely needs to be discussed when it comes to squats is that they can really help out your joints. If you have joint and bone problems, or if your joints are getting weaker due to old age, you need to do exercises that are low impact in nature. Low impact exercises are any kind of exercise which does not involve your feet leaving the ground and landing on them with force.
This is opposed to a high impact exercise like running or jumping jacks which cause you to land on your feet from an increased height, something that ultimately sends shock and impact throughout your body and can therefore cause joint damage and agitate pre-existing joint problems. Squats never have your feet leaving the ground, therefore being just fine for your joints, and can even strengthen your knee joints too.
Moreover, squats are also known to be a bone building exercise due to being weight bearing. Weight bearing exercises include any exercise which has you on your legs, supporting your own body weight, and even supporting more weight than usual, such as when you squat with added weight. These weight bearing exercises are bone building in nature.
This is because your osteoblasts, the cells in your bones which produce bone mass, are forced to lay down more and more bone mass when performing weight bearing exercises. Therefore, squats can help to increase your bone mass, bone density, and bone strength. This is very useful for anyone with brittle bones, bone issues, and it helps to prevent degenerative bone diseases in your old age too.
Benefit #6: Removing Waste & Regular Bowel Movements
Another thing which squats are shown to be effective at is for removing waste from your body. Exercises such as squats, which use your muscles and challenge your cardio system, do a great job at getting rid of unwanted toxins, chemicals, and compounds.
By using your muscles and increasing your heart rate, you help your body flush out all kinds of nasty things very quickly. This is beneficial because many of those things cause us to gain weight, lose muscle, and feel sluggish.
Moreover, the motion of the squat is shown to spur on our digestive system, cause waste to be processed faster, and help us maintain regularity when it comes to our daily trips to the toilet. If you have digestion issues, squats are definitely a part of a great solution.
Benefit #7: Increasing Your Ability To Balance
The next thing that benefits from doing regular squat exercises is your ability to balance. First off, good balance requires you to have strong muscles. Strong muscles have a much easier time holding up your body weight, especially when there are quick positional shifts that may knock you on your butt.
The stronger your leg muscles are, the better you will be able to stay upright. Moreover, squats also engage your proprioceptors, which are the things in your muscles which register positional shifts and automatically cause your muscles and your body to adjust itself to stay upright. The more squats you do, the more you train your proprioceptors to be more responsive and quicker at their job, thus increasing your ability to balance.
This is great for people who do sports that require good balance such as hockey or skating, long jumping, and basketball too. Moreover, having good balance is vital for elderly people who are at risk of breaking bones due to a fall.
Benefit #8: Squats Are Versatile
The final benefit of squats that we need to mention is that they are very versatile in many different ways. First of all, the traditional bodyweight squat is a type of exercise that everybody can do. Whether man or woman, boy or girl, young or old, squats are great for everybody.
Next, squats are completely free to do, thus saving you a whole lot of money. Sure, you can add some weights to your routine, which do of course cost money, but the basic squat is completely free to do. On that same note, you can do squats without or with weights, thus letting you set the level of resistance that you face with each dip down.
Moreover, the squat can be done anywhere at any time. You don’t need to do them at a specific time of day and you don’t have to do them in a specific place either. You can squat in your bedroom, your living room, at the gym, in your office, in the park, or in your backyard too.
Finally, there are many different kinds of squats which work out your muscles in a slightly different way, thus letting you engage in specific muscle targeting.
Different Squats For Different Folks
There are actually many different kinds of squats for you to choose from. Let’s quickly go over the different types of squats you could be doing and what their benefits are.
This type of squat involves a wide stance with your toes pointed slightly outwards, plus you also want to dip down as low as you can go, more or less until your butt touches your heels. This type of squat is excellent for leg strength training. For an added challenge, keep your arms crossed at your chest while squatting.
Goblet Squat Benefits
Goblet squats involve you holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at your chest while you squat. These are great for increasing the challenge posed to your leg muscles, your core, back, and arms too. This is a weighted squat that takes all of the normal benefits of squats and sends them into hyper drive.
Front Squat Benefits
The front squat is another weighted squat option to go with. This one is even more difficult that goblet squats as it involves holding a heavy bar on your shoulders with your arms facing upwards. This is more or less the type of squat that Olympic lifters do, and it can have you lifting several hundred pounds on your shoulders. This is a type of squat that definitely goes a long way in increasing the challenge you face, thus doing a lot to strengthen your muscles.
Pistol Squat Benefits
Pistol squats are also known as one legged squats, and they involve squatting with just one leg, while the other one is extended straight out in front of you. This has the obvious benefit of letting you target a specific leg, which is great if you have muscle imbalances. Also, this type of squat is great for increasing your balance, and of course your strength too. Just try it, squat with one leg and go down as low as you can go. You will definitely feel the burn.
Sumo Squat Benefits
This is a slight variation of the normal squat. The sumo squat involves a very wide stand and your toes being pointed outwards. Simply squat down until your hips are at the same level as your knees and go back up. This type of squat does a lot for your joints, it challenges your muscles, and it improves your balance as well.
Zercher Squat Benefits
The Zercher squat is perhaps one of the hardest types of squats out there. It is a weighted squat, where you have your hands against your chest and your elbows bent to the side and in front of you, just like when you do biceps curls. Use a weighted bar and hold it in the crux of your elbows as you squat. This has a great muscle strengthen effect for your arms, core, shoulders, and legs too, plus it is great for improving balance as well.
Bulgarian Squat Benefits
The Bulgarian squat involves you squatting with just one leg, with the other one being behind you. The leg which is behind you needs to be raised up at knee level and your toes should be supported by something like a bench. These squats are pretty difficult, but they do a great deal when it comes to strengthening a specific leg and they are excellent for increasing your balance as well.
Jump Squats Benefits
Simply do a squat like you always do, but instead of just raising yourself back up to the starting position, you are going to jump as high as you can, then do another squat. This type of squat is great for explosive jumping power, balance, and overall leg strength.
Wall Squats Benefits
This type of squat is more stationary than the rest and is almost like a Yoga or Pilates pose. The wall squat simply involves you having your back against a wall with your feet at shoulder width. Lower your back down the wall until your back is flat against it and your thighs are parallel to the ground. Instead of raising yourself back up immediately, you are going to hold that position for a prolonged period of time. This type of squat is excellent for strengthening and toning your thighs.
Hack Squat Benefits
Hack squats require the use of a hack squat machine. Simply place your feet on the footrest, pick an amount of weight to support on your shoulders, and do your squats like you normally would. These squats are great for muscle strengthening with added stability and balance provided by the hack squat machine.
Overhead Squat Benefits
This type of squat involves using a weighted barbell, but instead of having it on your shoulders, you are going to lift it up above your head while you squat, so it’s like a combination of a squat and an overhead barbell press. The result of these squats is greatly increased muscle power all throughout your body and a greatly improved ability to balance.
Squats are great for so many things including strengthening your whole body, increasing cardiovascular health, improving flexibility, posture, balance, digestion, and so much more. The benefits of squats are all things which you definitely want to take advantage of.
If you have any comments or questions about anything squat related, simply shoot us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can!
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