While the main focus of squats is the quads, they also work the hamstrings, lower back and core muscles.
Squats can also help tone your glutes/bum muscles - try to consciously squeeze these as you return to standing.
Squats can help improve your flexibility at the hips, knees and ankles. Make sure you are warmed up before lifting heavy and incorporate some additional mobility work to help increase the range of motion in your squat. Always remember to stretch after the session to help return your muscles to their optimum length.
Whilst performing squats lots of muscles are engaged, these require energy - therefore lots of calories are burnt.
Squats can actually help to build muscles in your upper body due to the release of muscle building hormones when squatting.
People squat every day. Think sitting on a chair and standing up again. If you get good at squats, everyday movements become easier.
If you play sports in which running and jumping are required, squats will make you better at these and therefore will help to improve your performance.
Squats will help you to build more muscle, if you have more muscle you will burn more calories, even when at rest.
If done correctly squats will help to burn more calories post workout - this is due to EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) in which the body uses additional energy to return to normal after an intense workout.
There are many variations of squats so they will never get boring, try:
- overhead squats
- front squats
- back squats
- single leg/pistol squats
- using barbells, dumbbellls, kettlebells, sandbags, TRX
I think there is something strangely satisfying about doing squats - especially the heavy ones. Squats have numerous benefits - here are ten of them:
Squats are a great exercise for your legs and bum whilst also working your core muscles.
There are many variations of squats so you shouldn't get bored! Pictured is a back squat.
When you are programming squats into your sessions try to incorporate a variety of reps/sets/load. Lower reps but with a heavy weight will focus more on strength, whilst medium weights will focus on hypertrophy (pumping up the muscle) and light weights will focus on building endurance. Most people can benefit from working on all of these but if you would like to find out more please get in touch.
A lot of people can benefit from doing squats but please check with a health and fitness professional first especially if you have lower back pain.
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