If I had to choose just one weight training exercise that builds overall lean muscle mass and increases strength, it would have to be squats.
But its important to learn how to squat correctly.
Having good form and technique is crucial to get the maximum benefit and to avoid injury. It’s not a difficult exercise to perform, and I recommend it to anybody.
Originally, I had planned to make a list of “10 reasons why you should squat”, but I ended up expanding the list as I went on.
Some of these I have researched and some are from my experience of squatting over the years.
People still have a misconception about squatting and think they are meant only for pro athletes and bodybuilders.
That’s not true; squatting is suitable for anybody, both male and female, who are interested in building lean muscle and burning fat as well as improving their health.
Why Every Woman Should Squat
It is especially great for the ladies that want a great set of legs and a sexy butt. Think Jen Selter, Instagram Sensation.
Jen Selter has inspired thousands of women around the world to get a bigger butt.
If you don’t know who Jen Selter is, you can do a google search to get more information about her.
If you are on Instagram, you may have seen her photos.
It’s quite possible that Jen Selter had a huge influence on a lot of girls wanting to follow in her footsteps to getting the body of their dreams. Who knows…?
Okay, back to what I was saying before…
When you think about it, everybody, whether they realize it or not, we all have to sit down, stand up and pick something up off the floor.
We never think about making these movements. Our bodies have been programmed to do these things ever since we were kids.
It just feels natural.
Squats, when done properly, is the best compound exercise for building mass as well as increasing size and strength in the body.[Tweet “When you have one of those days, when you have a big weight on your shoulders – DO A SQUAT!”]
Also Read: 10 Benefits of Squats for Women
Before I get into the 20 reasons why you should squat, I’d like to share my squatting story…
I remember when I first took up squatting in the gym. I used to squat with bad form for months without realizing what I was doing wrong.
And one day, while I was holding a 100 kg bar cross my shoulder, I lost my balance, and the weight came down on top of me.
Lucky enough, two guys rushed over and were able to grab the bar in time. This was all a result of bad form and not setting myself up to do them properly.
Not only did I have bad form, when I squatted, I didn’t go all the way down, afterall, it’s the deep squat that activates your glutes and hamstring muscles to it’s full potential.
I still see guys at the gym, with bad form and usually point out the mistakes they make and the correct way to do them. Usually appreciate my guidance.
So guys, save yourself the time of causing an injury. Trying to impress your gym buddy, isn’t worth it, unless you both know what you’re doing.
How To Perform Squats Correctly
If you’re not sure how to perform a proper squat, get a personal trainer to show you. The video below will demonstrate how to perform perform squats with good form and technique.
For extra safety, you can even do your squats on a smith machine. So if you are a beginner, then I suggest squatting on a smith machine until you get used to doing them properly.
Squatting on A Smith Machine
Most good gyms have a smith machine, where the bar is connected within steel rails, for added safety.
This will prepare you for when you’re ready to do them on a squat rack.
I think one of the main reasons why some people avoid doing squats is because they are afraid of risking the chance of getting injured.
But if you know how to do them correctly, not only will it increase muscle mass in your lower body, but it will do them same for your upper body.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or increase strength, squatting will help you achieve each of these goals as long as you stay consistent and aim to lift heavy often.
I wouldn’t recommend doing squats more than twice a week. Like any weight lifting exercise you do, your muscles need time to grow. So recover is essential.
If you keep exercising the same muscles every day, you’re not giving them time to recover and could do some damage if your not careful.
If you’re a skinny guy and you want to build muscle, a good start would be to do five sets of five, at your body weight. Once you can get to a stage where you can lift your own body weight, you can gradually increase the weight as you get comfortable lifting heavier.
It’s a big achievement when you know you can lift more than your own body weight. That’s how you know you are getting stronger each week.
When you can lift heavier weight each week, you will feel inspired so that you look forward to your next squat session.
Okay, Here are the 20 reasons why you should squat
1. Increase Size And Strength In Your Entire Body
When you squat, you will also build muscle in your hamstrings, quads and calves. Due to the high amount of HGH released, you will also build size and strength in the rest of your body.
The reason this happens is because when you perform a squat the correct way, your body is forced to naturally increase its own anabolic hormones that will cause other muscle groups to get bigger quicker the next time you train them.
2. Improves Circulation In The Body
Squat exercises get the blood pumping in your entire body and improves your health all round.
3. Increase Testosterone & Growth Hormones
Exercises such as squats and dead-lifts release essential growth hormones that contribute to muscle growth and strength gain in the entire body.
4. Increase Core Strength
Squats hit your entire core muscles from every angle, so it gives you every reason to do them if you want killer abs.
5. Improve Flexibility
Because the deeper you squat, the more flexible you become. Squatting will also increase hip flexibility. A lot of people carry a lot of stress in their hips because they have bad posture so they feel the need to sit down more often.
6. Great For Burning Fat
Most of the muscle you gain from squatting heavy will come from your lower body, and the more muscle that you gain the more fat you will burn.
7. Squats Strengthen Joints
Once you know how to perform squats correctly, not only will it prevent injury, but it will also strengthen your joints too. When you squat down, with all that weight on the bar, you are engaging your ankle, knee and hip joints at the same time.
8. It’s Functional For Completing Daily Tasks
What I mean by this is that It makes your daily tasks easier, like if you are carrying groceries’ home or lifting or moving furniture in your house. So it makes your body safer during real world activities.
9. Reduce The Risk Of Getting Injured
Squatting is a safe exercise; once they are done correctly it will reduce the risk of injury. Because as you expand the depth of each squat, you will increase strength in your quad muscles that will also enable you do perform other compound exercises with ease.
10. Become A Better Athlete
It doesn’t matter what sport you do; you need to be squatting. It’s essential to have a strong lower body, whether you’re doing swimming, playing tennis or basketball. You should squatting.
11. Increase Vertical Jump
Squats are great for increasing your rate of force development that is important if you want to be able to jump high. I found barbell jump squats a great way to increase vertical jump.
12.Improved Workout Efficiency
I’m a strong believer that squats improve strength, stability and efficiency when it comes to doing other weighted exercises such as bench press, deadlifts and even pull-ups. I find that it gives you that extra edge over that’s crucial when you’re trying to squeeze out one last repetition, when you’ve reached failure.
13. Develop A Great Set Of Legs And Butt
It makes no difference whether you are male or female. Squats will give you a great set of legs and butt. So ladies, If you want to activate those butt muscles, do deep squats with a wide stance so that it gives your butt a better workout. Your friends will want to do what exercise you did, while the lads will be drooling over you.
14. Get Killer Calves
For those of you who are ashamed of having skinny legs, like I once had. When you squat heavy, it will gradually build muscle in your calves. No more chicken legs.
15. Squats Are Cheap
All it takes is a barbell or a set pair of dumbbells. You don’t have to buy them brand new either. Read total body free weights workout from home.
16. Increase Sprint Times
According to research, studies show that sprinters can increase their sprint times by a significant degree as a result of squatting.
17. Improve Athletic Performance
Not only will you gain size and strength in your legs, squats will also increase your performance capacity to run faster and jump higher.
18. There Are More Than One Variation Of Squats
Not just the traditional bodybuilders squats where you place a barbell over your shoulders. You can do dumbbell squats, kettlebell squats, wall squats, plie squat and barbell front squats. There are lots more ways to squat.
19. You Can Squat Just About Anywhere You Like
You don’t have to be in the gym to squat, and you don’t even need gym equipment. You can do them at home, at work or the beach. If you do a google search for “Squat without equipment, I’m sure you will find lots of variations. Try doing 100 bodyweight squats, and I’m sure you will feel the effects from it. Even 50 is good enough.
20. Squats Are A Universal Compound Exercise
Other than dead-lifts, squats are a mainstream exercise that uses more muscles in the body.
Now It’s Your Turn
Now that you have read all the reasons why you should squat, it’s time to add squats to your next workout. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro bodybuilder or a beginner, you can start squatting and will notice almost immediate results as long as you stick with it.
I’m sure there are more than 20 reasons why you should squat. If you can think of anymore, then please write them in the comments section below this article.
Thinking of adding squats to your workout routine? Maybe you already have, if so how have squats benefited you and how often do you do them? I would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below and remember to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
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