With stronger glutes, you’ll notice many everyday tasks become easier, whether it’s reaching for the low shelf in the store, sitting down, or getting up.
Do you want to add a strength movement to your training program that will bring you great benefits? Try squats. You’ll notice everyday tasks are easier, whether it’s crouching down to pick up an item from the floor, sitting in a chair, or grabbing an item from the bottom shelf at the top. grocery store.
Here’s a rundown of the health benefits of squats, when and how to add them to your exercise routine, and how to do them correctly.
What muscles do squats work?
Why do fitness trainers like to prescribe squats? “Not only is the squat a fundamental movement that applies to many activities of daily life and sport, but it also challenges and strengthens many muscles.
Three categories of muscles are involved in a squat. These are the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in your buttocks, the quadriceps, which include the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis oblique, and vastus intermedius, and a deep calf muscle called the soleus. There are also ancillary muscles, such as those in the inner thighs, hamstrings, back and calves, while the stabilizers, which help you maintain proper form, include the abs and the inner and outer thighs. .
What are the benefits of squats?
Here are five:
Squats will give you stronger glutes
Anyone who has wanted to strengthen their butt knows the value of squats. According to a study published in Yoga & Physical Therapy, this strength can translate into improved performance in athletic activities that require sprints and jumps, as well as activities of daily living, especially if you’re older. Strong glutes can also help you walk, run, and hike.
Squats help with functionality (especially as you get older)
If you add squats to your fitness routine, you’ll build functional leg strength and mobility, which may make it easier for you to get off the floor. Why is this important? Studies like the one published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology have found that your ability to sit down and get up from the floor can predict your chances of dying prematurely.
Squats can strengthen your bones
Weight-bearing activities are best for building bones, and squats are one of them. Squats help make the bones and joints in the hip and leg stronger through better bone mineral density. This could reduce your risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Squats will help you burn calories
The more muscles an exercise uses, the more calories you burn. Squats certainly meet this requirement, as they result in high calorie expenditure.
Squats can be good for your brain
Physical activity is good for your brain, and your lower body might be a good area to target. A study published in the journal Gerontology concluded that having more power in the legs was associated with fewer signs of brain aging and healthier brain structure, according to functional MRI studies conducted up to 12 years later, compared to having less power in the legs.
Are squats safe for everyone?
Squats are safe for most people. There are, however, a few caveats. Some variations may be less suitable for some people, depending on their medical and injury history, training history and status, and goals
The key is to find a variation and progression of squats that you can do without pain or the risk of aggravating a particular problem or increasing your risk of injury. For example, if you have a knee or hip injury, you may need to change the width of your stance or the depth of your squats. Pregnant women may also need to modify the movement. If you are unsure, consult your doctor before doing squats.
How many squats should you do and how often?
For adults, try to strength train all major muscle groups on two or more non-consecutive days per week. However, the frequency and number of squats depends on many variables, including the intensity of the squat, the variation you are performing, your goals, your current physical condition, and how much rest and recovery time you will need. .
Start with doing a set of 8 to 12 reps if you’re healthy, but you can do more if you’re trying to build muscular endurance or less if your goal is muscle strength. You can do total body strength exercises or do upper body strength training one day and lower body strength training the next. Whether you do squats (and leg exercises) on cardio days depends on your fitness regimen and goals.
How to do a squat correctly
Learning proper squat form will help you avoid injury and ensure that you are using your muscles effectively. Follow these instructions for a basic bodyweight squat:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, and knees over the second and third toes.
Lower your butt toward the floor by rotating your hips and bending your knees, making sure your knees go over the second and third toes and your heels stay on the floor. As you do this, let your glutes push back and outward behind your body, as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your chest high and your head and neck in a neutral position. Descend to a depth that allows you to maintain proper form. For some people, this is a point where the thighs are parallel to the ground, while others cannot go that low.
Push through your feet to bring your body up and away from the floor to lift yourself up, moving your hips forward until you’re back in the starting position.