Shut Up and Squat

 

A traditional squat is “a lower body exercise used in strength training. The main emphasis of the exercise is on the quadriceps and the glutes, but it also involves the hamstrings, the calves, and the lower back. The squat has the potential for bigger and faster muscle growth than many other exercises.”

 

Instructions for “good-form” squats

 

1. Stand up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground approximately shoulder width apart. To help maintain a straight back as you perform the exercise, it’s a good idea to focus on an object directly ahead of you at eye level.

2. Contract your abdominal muscles as you bend your legs at the knees. Either stretch your arms out ahead of you, lightly position your hands behind your ears or hold your arms at your side as you slowly lower yourself into a squatting position. Lower your body to a position where your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.

 

What makes squats such a fantastic exercise?
  1. Builds Muscle in Your Entire Body

Squats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.

In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.

So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.

  1. Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities Easier

Functional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.

  1. Burn More Fat

One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.

  1. Maintain Mobility and Balance

Strong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.

  1. Prevent Injuries

Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.

  1. Boost Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run Faster

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you’ll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.i Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete’s training program.

  1. Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire Body

Few exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  1. Help with Waste Removal

Squats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They’re also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.