The SQUAT is considered the best exercise we can do for our legs to activate our metabolism, raise our testosterone levels and to gain muscle mass in general. There are many benefits of squats and it is a multifunctional exercise in which it is, surely, the one that involves the most muscles involved.
It is an exercise of great importance for every athlete regardless of the sport they practice, since it helps us a lot to progress to better cope with training, improving resistance and avoiding possible muscle injuries.
In this article, I would like to explain the benefits of training the muscles of the lower body and the correct way to do squats.
6 Amazing Benefits of Squats
Build a balanced lower body
Squats are performed while moving the hip, knee, and ankle at the same time stimulates the entire muscles of the lower body because each joint and muscle is working together.
For example, when you use the training machines at the sports club to work out your lower body, while it is easy to work out, most of them only stimulate specific muscles such as the quadriceps muscle at the front of the thigh and the hamstrings at the back of the thigh.
Squats on the other hand allow you to train the entire lower body evenly, efficiently, and in a balanced manner.
In addition, the squat movement is often used as a training menu for sports competitions because it uses multiple joints at the same time and is the most major and effective way to stabilize the body’s center of gravity.
Squats not only stimulate the entire lower body evenly, but also provide a great stimulus to the “core” that helps maintain posture during movement. In other words, by strengthening your core, you can expect to improve your posture and increase the weight you can handle easily in other exercises.
Squats is one of the best free weights exercise in the entire workout. Squatting while handling weights requires you to keep your posture in order to maintain proper form, which in turn requires your core muscles to work properly.
For example, when you use a training machine to train the muscles of the lower body you are basically sitting or lying in a chair, which reduces the stimulation of the abdominal and back muscles.
Squats, on the other hand, is basically done in a while standing, which means that you need to keep your upper body posture in mind and avoid leaning back during the movement so that you can easily get a lot of stimulation to your upper body.
Squatting also increases the flexibility of the hip joints, which is another plus for proper posture.
Increases Basal Metabolism
The muscles in the lower body are the largest parts of the body like thighs and calves. Therefore, it is easier to increase muscle mass in the lower body than in the upper body, and it can be said that the advantage of squatting is that the increase in muscle mass makes it easier to greatly improve basal metabolism.
The higher your basal metabolism, the less likely you are to gain weight and the more likely you are to lose weight.
If the strength of your lower body muscles is increased you will feel less fatigue in your daily life. In particular, if you have a job that requires a lot of standing or walking you will feel less tired than before even if you work the same amount as usual if you strengthen your lower body muscles by squatting on a regular basis.
You will also be able to move much more easily when you need to exert yourself, such as lifting heavy loads, going up and downstairs, or running.
If you train your lower body with squats on a regular basis you can expect a lot of benefits in your daily life.
As humans age, the bone density decreases significantly.
We tend to think of “calcium intake” as a way to strengthen our bones, but taking calcium into the body alone will not make our bones stronger. In order to strengthen bones, daily exercise is essential.
In particular, training with movements such as squatting, which exerts a load in the longitudinal direction (vertical force), is said to be effective.
Especially in the case of osteoporosis, the loss of bone density is not painful and may progress unnoticed, so it is advisable to actively squat to strengthen your bones.
So among many benefits of squats one of them is that it can prevent bone density loss as we age.
Helps to protect joints
Squatting can also provide “joint protection” benefits. Like bones, the human body begins to feel pain in joints such as the knees and lower back as it gets older.
In fact, joint pain is not a problem with the joints themselves, but the cause of the pain is the weakening of the muscles in the lower body. As the muscle strength of the lower body decreases, the burden on the joints increases and the wear and tear on the joints increases.
This may also be true for people who have previously been injured in sports.
When you were young, your muscles were strong and you could protect your joints, but as you get older, your muscles weaken and you gradually start to feel pain.
If possible, it’s a good idea to do squats to protect the joints that are essential to your daily life.
The squat, which is expected to have many benefits, will only strain your body and will not be effective if not performed in the right way.
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what muscles do squats work?
Squat is a fundamental exercise for warming up and strengthening the legs but it is not a movement exclusive to this part of the body. Many people think that only the quadriceps muscles are activated but being a compound exercise it works several muscles at the same time.
It is the main muscle most involved in squats. Having good quadriceps is very important for anyone, since with it we can stretch our legs, raise our body and lift and move our body mass, all of them functions that we perform daily. If your into sports like running, cycling or triathlon, you will know how important it is to have strong legs, so if you still do not do squats, start including them in your workouts.
Buttocks and hamstrings
Without these muscles our torso could not stay upright. With squats we can strengthen this very important muscle group in anyone who practices sports. Having glutes and hamstrings in good condition can make a difference at the end of a race where fatigue begins to take its toll.
Abs and lower back (Spinal Erector)
Having a strong torso is the basis for every athlete. It helps us maintain good body posture, thus avoiding lumbar problems, we gain stability and balance, and it helps us keep the spine stabilized during training. When we squat, these muscle groups are also involved, if it weren’t for them our spine and neck would go forward losing stability, so it is of special attention to have a worked torso to avoid all kinds of pain and / or injuries.
These are the muscles that are probably least involved in squatting, but are required to prevent our legs from moving forward during the exercise.
4 points on how to do squats correctly.
(1)Do not Keep your knees in front of your toes
One of the wrong ways to squat is to bend only the knees without bending the hip joint much.
Above all, squatting is all about hip movement.
Many people, especially those who are new to training, often think that squatting means bending the knees, but in reality, the correct form of squatting is to move the hip joints a lot, thrust the hips back and lower the upper body.
If you squat without bending your hip joints, your body’s structure will cause your knees to move forward more than your toes, which will inevitably put a lot of stress on your knees and cause pain.
When squatting, be aware of your hip area first, and bend your knees while keeping your hips well back, making sure that your knees do not go farther forward than your toes.
(2) Point the toes and knees in the same direction
There is still one more wrong form of squat that causes joint pain that is crouching in which the “toes” and “knees” point in different directions.
The correct squatting form is for the knees to move in the same direction as the toes are pointing, but some people squat with the toes pointing outward and the knees inward. Such form is called “knee-in-toe-out,” and it puts stress on the inside of the knee, leading to pain.
Always remember when doing the squatting motion you should move your knees in the same direction as your toes.
(3) Bend your thighs until they are parallel to the floor.
The key to effective training is to maximize the range of motion of the joints. If you perform the movements in a narrow range, you will not get much stimulation and will not be able to expect high results.
When squatting, it is important to move the hip joint in order to increase the range of motion.
Bend your hips firmly and keep your body’s center of gravity down.
The best way to do this is to lower your body so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
(4) Do not bend your back
The lower part of your body is not the only thing you should be aware of when squatting. The upper body, which is not in motion, is also important.
This posture puts a lot of stress on the lower back and can cause back pain.
To prevent rounding of the back when squatting, it is best to keep your face facing forward (or slightly upward), your chest out, and your hips slightly bent. The best way to do this is to maintain this posture and keep your abdominal muscles engaged in the squatting motion.
Squats are so effective that they are called the “King of Exercises”.
That said, squats are not a difficult exercise. It is an exercise that anyone can do easily.
However, squatting with the correct form and squatting with the wrong form will obviously have different effects, so if you are going to do it, make sure to use the correct form to get the best results.
Once you get used to squatting with your own body weight, try squatting with weights such as barbells or dumbbells. You can expect even higher result. Please comment below if you liked this article