It’s almost impossible to find a workout routine that doesn’t include some form of squats. From powerlifters and world-class athletes to the casual gym-goers and those new to the weight room, it seems that everyone is doing squats. Why? Simply put, squats work wonders for the lower body.
Read on to discover the benefits of squats and learn how they’re an important component of a holistic fitness regimen.
Squats Strengthen More Than Just the Legs
Squats are a compound exercise, meaning they engage many muscles at once rather than targeting a specific muscle. A squat performed with proper form works the glutes, calves, and quadriceps and strengthens core muscles like the abdominals and lower back.
They Lead to Better Posture
The benefits of doing squats to engage the core muscles aren’t limited to the gym. Core muscles are responsible for posture, and improved posture is linked to numerous health improvements like reducing back pain.
There Are Many Different Variations
A common misconception about squats is that they’re reserved for weight training, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s actually best to start out by squatting one’s own body weight. This article outlines the different kinds of squats and details their ideal form.
Squats Improve Joint Health
A properly performed squat strengthens the knees, one of the most important joints. Knee structures like cartilage and tendons gradually get stronger with repeated use. Over time, squatting will drastically improve knee strength and reduce the risk of knee-related injuries.
They’re Great for Losing Weight
Squats’ weight loss benefits are multifaceted: they develop muscles, burn calories, and increase anabolic hormone production.
Obviously, the act of doing squats burns calories by itself, and squats are surprisingly efficient. One minute of squat exercise burns eight calories. That number only goes up when more resistance is applied.
However, the calorie-burning benefits don’t end there. The increased muscle mass from squatting burns calories even at rest.
Finally, squats cause the body to produce anabolic hormones. These hormones contribute to the muscle-building and fat-burning processes. Compound exercises like squats cause the body to produce more anabolic hormones than other, more targeted exercises.