The Grooming Manual
Some guys shy away from squats. They’re a big compound exercise that requires tons of effort. Maybe your legs are shaking just thinking about them. “Oh, my poor quads,” you think.
Prefer to skip the squat in favor of bench presses and bicep curls? You aren’t doing yourself any favors. The squat is the best muscle building exercise that you can do. Still not convinced? Consider these 5 reasons you should be doing squats.
1 - Squats Burn Fat
Lifting weights is an excellent way to burn fat and build lean muscle. Compound lifts are best - exercises that use multiple muscle groups. That’s the category the mighty squat falls into. It’s a huge move that requires balance and strength in your legs, quads, abs, glutes, and back.
Of course, you will get the best fat burning results if you use good form. Skip the Smith machines with guided tracks if you want to really enhance your workout. Doing squats with an olympic bar requires stability and balance that you don’t get with a machine.
2 - Squats Strengthen Your Bones
The older you get, the more your bone health matters. Osteoporosis is a major health concern amongst older adults.
You can start preventing long term bone health issues now by doing squats. A study done in 2011 found that “24 weeks of resistance training, including squat and deadlift exercises, is effective in increasing bone mineral density in young healthy men.”
But it turns out that squats are not just beneficial for preventing bone problems when you’re young. A study published in 2013 looked at the results of maximal strength training with squats for post-menopausal women. It concluded that squats “can be implemented as a simple and effective training method for patients with reduced bone mass.”
3 - Squats Build Endurance
Endurance is critical to most sports. Whether you’re in the court or out on the field, you’ve got to be able to make it through the whole game without burning out.
Then there are endurance athletes who depend on their ability to last as long as possible to succeed. Runners, triathletes, cyclists, and other endurance athletes can use squats to improve their results.
Some guys think, “No way. I don’t want to bulk up. That’s counterproductive. I need to stay lean to improve my performance.”
Don’t take such a short-term view of your fitness and training. Building up your maximum squat weight will make you a better athlete. It will give you both better explosive energy and better endurance. So regardless of what sport you participate in, the squat is a must.
4 - Squats Stimulate Hormones
If you want to build muscle and get strong, you need to stimulate the production of testosterone and growth hormone. It turns out that squats are great for doing just that.
In 2014, researchers reviewed how resistance exercises stimulate hormone production. Amongst the exercises analyzed, squats were ranked amongst the best, beating out leg presses for testosterone production. The conclusion was that ““free weight exercises seem to induce greater hormonal responses to resistance exercise than machine weight exercises.”
Squat Safe to Get Strong
Squats are an excellent exercise when you want to get strong and enhance your performance. Just be sure to follow proper, safe form.
- Keep your chest and back straight, activating your core to help balance the weight.
- Point your toes slightly outward, keeping your knees straight.
- Squat down to about parallel level.
- Activate your glutes, legs, and abs to drive back up.
Include squats in your regular training program. From there, you'll enjoy the results as you get strong and see results.