It might feel like all you hear is squat, squat, squat. But there is very good reason to incorporate some variation of squats into your program right away.
Whether your goal is to gain strength or lose weight, squats should be a staple. Now maybe you’re hesitant to begin squatting because it is new to you, but that’s totally ok. Before we get into how to squat, I just want you to realize how beneficial squats will actually be when you are trying to achieve your goals.
There’s a reason squats are considered a functional movement. We have been squatting since the beginning of our lives. How many times have sat down and stood up in your life? A lot probably – too many times to count even. Squats are a compound movement because they use more than one joint – ankles, knees, and hips. But even more than those joints, you need your core to stabilize the movement, and if you add weight, your arms too! If squatting can increase your overall strength in your body, think about how much easier those tiresome activities can be. Do you have kids? Are you tired of them running circles around you? Imagine how your kids would react when you run circles around them.
2. Burn More Fat and Lose Weight Faster
Did you know that every additional pound of muscle you gain it burns an additional 35-50 calories a day? One of the most efficient ways to burn calories is to gain more muscle. Let’s do some quick math! If you put on 10 pounds of muscle, not only will you be stronger but you will also burn up to an additional 500 calories a day. Get stronger, feel better, and lose weight faster – sounds like a win, win, win.
3. Increase Circulation
Nothing like a good squat session to get your blood pumping and flowing.
The circulatory system plays an important role of getting more nutrients and oxygen to your vital organs and muscles. Do you know what is a result of poor circulation in the body? The awfully dreaded cellulite. By making squats a staple in your program, you combat one of the leading factors that causes cellulite – poor circulation.
4. Posture, Posture, Posture
Each part of your body plays a crucial role when squatting. When you become aware of your form while exercising, it will become a habit. Not only will you ensure your a properly squatting, you will begin to realize how you sit, stand, and walk. Posture is not only important for your day-to-day health it can provide future health benefits. Proper posture will reduce abnormal stress on your joints and body.
5. Increase Flexibility and Prevent Injuries
As we get older, we become less flexible. It’s the sad truth, and flexibility plays a huge role in injury prevention. The good news is we can slow down that process with squatting. This compound movement will increase flexibility in your joints and increase strength in the muscles around your joints. That flexibility and strength will lead to increase range of motion and balance, but most importantly prevent future injuries.
6. Burn that Core
Remember when I said your core is important for stabilizing the squat movement? Let’s revisit that. To keep balance while you are squatting, you are engaging your abdominals and back muscles. Your core is working to keep proper posture as you squat to prevent injuries (see we’re coming full circle now). So what are the results? A tighter stomach and stronger lower back. *Bonus tip* Focus on holding and flexing your abs as you squat to greatly increase the burn to your core.
7. Tone those Legs and Lift that Booty
Although you feel the burn in your core and your upper body, squats are mainly targeting your lower body. That’s what makes them so great! All of your lower body muscles and joints working in unison. Squatting works on toning all of your leg muscles – quads, hamstrings, calves. You thought I forgot to mention the glutes. How could I forget the glutes when discussing squats? Squats are great for tightening and lifting your booty. *Bonus tip* Squeeze your glutes at the top of the squat for extra muscle activation.
Now what are you waiting for? Let’s get squatting and earn that backside!