March 7th, 2016
The benefits of squats
The benefits of squats – some might promote the benefits of swimming; others might be big running fans. Then there are those that do lots of sit-ups every day. All of these activities are good for us, but there’s one exercise that’s better than them all – squats. Here are some of the benefits of squats.
You can do them anywhere. You don’t need a gym, or expensive equipment. You don’t even need shoes. You can do squats anywhere.
There are lots of different kinds. Jumping squats will add some cardio to your session. Really slow squats will be really safe and difficult. Holding wall squats are great for skiing. Squats are versatile and can incorporate want different aspects of fitness, from cardio to strength to flexibility.
The benefits of squats
- Squats are great for muscle growth. Doing squats will encourage muscle growth in the legs, obviously. But because they work the largest muscle groups you have, they actually encourage the release of growth hormones throughout the body, not just in the legs. Increased muscle size is great not just for looks, but also for increasing the metabolic rate.
- Squats are great for weight loss. As above, squats work the largest muscle groups in the body. This promotes more growth hormone than using smaller muscles, and more growth hormone means more muscle tone. More muscle tone means a constant demand for energy and thus a boost to the metabolic rate. Weight loss is about energy in vs energy out, so the more we increase energy going out the better!
- They help balance. Squats encourage proprioception (a posh work for co-ordination) as you have to lower your whole bodyweight, lean forwards and not fall over when you do them.
- Squats encourage healthy knees and joint stability. Contrary to some opinions, squats help knees stay healthy and strong. Strong quads, hamstrings and glutes mean that the knee is getting support that it needs to work smoothly and freely.
- Increase bone density. This is especially important for women. As we age we start to lose strength and density in our bones. The only way to stop or reverse this is to do weight bearing exercise. Squats are both challenging and weight bearing, so will encourage good bone strength and density.
- Get a great looking butt. Although diet plays a role, squats will tone and firm the muscles in the bottom, giving you a shapely and attractive butt!
- Improve circulation leading to less cellulite. The compound (or multi joint) nature of squats means that they cause vascular dilation and thus improve circulation through the whole body. Improved circulation can help reduce the dimples and pockets of fat that cause cellulite.
- Improve your posture. As squats produce a strong, upright posture, working the back and core as well as the legs and hips, they will help to encourage great posture.
- Improve your core. Squats make your core work in a ore functional way then sit ups, encouraging a strong middle and even working hard to target muscles along your sides.
Further reading on the benefits of squats can be found here – and also why squatting to full depth is important.