Movement and exercise helps us keep fit and healthy as well as keeping pain and injury at bay. When done correctly simple squats are a great exercise for most people, but if done incorrectly they can have the potential to cause injury.
Squats are a great all-round exercise that can work many major muscle groups. You don’t have to be young, super fit or already have strength to do them. The best part is that they can be done anywhere without any equipment.
How To Squat Correctly
To perform a basic squat you should:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward or slightly angled.
- Push your knees apart, gaze forwards and lift your chest high.
- Hinge your hips backwards by bending your knees, placing weight on the heels.
- Keeping the head and chest upright, your knees should not go beyond your toes!
- Hold for five seconds.
- Rise up, pressing through the heels, and straighten out the hips until you’re in the starting position.
- Repeat 15 to 20 times, for 2 or 3 sets for beginners. A great bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere!
This video is a good resource for beginners as it shows what the perfect squat looks like.
The benefits of squatting:
1. Increase Entire Body Strength & Muscle
Build strong legs which help support the entire body. Helps release testosterone and the human growth hormone, which are so important for building muscle and increasing muscle mass. These muscles help regulate glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, playing a role in preventing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
2. Burn Fat
Squats may be a more efficient way of burning fat – as this process occurs even after you’ve stopped exercising…something that doesn’t happen with cardiovascular activity.
3. Improve Circulation
The circulatory system relies heavily on bodily movement to function properly, which is why exercise – including squats – is one of the best preventative or remedial steps you can take for poor circulation.
4. Get Rid of Cellulite
Cellulite can be caused by a variety of factors, one of which is poor circulation. In fact, it’s one of the main causes of cellulite and can seriously impact and accelerate cellulite formation.
When you boost your blood flow through squats, your cellulite will soon start to reduce and may even disappear altogether!
5. Increase Flexibility & Prevent Injuries
Flexibility is an important aspect of injury prevention. Our muscles, tendons and ligaments become less elastic with age so doing all we can to slow down this process is a good idea.
Doing squats regularly will help you become more flexible as they involve bending and stretching of the leg muscles including the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
6. Enjoy Better Posture
Improve your posture as you’ll need to learn how to hold proper form when carrying out the movement. Upper body posture is of the utmost importance – your upper back, lower back, chest, shoulders and stomach all play a role in successful squatting.
7. Build Core Strength
The muscles, bones, and joints that link your upper and lower body are known as the core. This is probably the most important muscle group in the body and should be the top area to work on when embarking on an exercise plan.
8. Tone Your Abs, Legs and Butt
For added toning, try a deep squat over a parallel one as one study discovered that the gluteus maximus is over 25% more engaged during deep squats!
9. A Low Impact Exercise
10. Remove Bodily Waste
11. Build Healthy Bones and Joints
12. Maintain Mobility And Balance
Because strong legs are so important for keeping mobile, squats are a fantastic way to ensure you stay on the move you age.
13. Make Daily Tasks Easier
Squats are known as a ‘functional exercise’ thanks to their ability to make real life tasks easier.
14. Better Libido For Men
Squats are a great natural remedy increasing testosterone production for a lagging libido
15. Run Faster
16. Jump Higher
17. Squat Anywhere
Squats don’t require any special equipment, a fancy gym membership or even any workout clothing.
Want to learn how to squat like a pro! ?♀️?♂️ At Beyond we focus on technique and mobility, making sure our clients learn the correct form and movement.