Squatting is a foundational movement pattern that you will find in any balanced strength training program.
Why? That is because squatting can be found in numerous activities outside the gym, making it an essential part of functional movement required for everyday life. From standing up out of a chair to sitting on a toilet to squatting down to reach into a low cabinet, we need to squat for so many reasons.
Today we’ll dive into six of those reasons, making you never want to miss another squat day in the gym again!
1) Functional Mobility
Remember how many daily activities we just mentioned that require the squatting motion? Doing full range of motion squats in your strength training is a great way to keep your joints mobile enough to support those daily activities for years to come. The phrase “use it or lose it” definitely applies here. Taking your hips, knees, and ankles through the full squatting motion will ensure that you don’t lose this mobility. But mobility is not just about stretching your soft tissues, and often mobility is lost because of a lack of strength and stability. Practicing squatting, even if that is with no added weight, will help you maintain adequate strength to fully flex and extend through the movement, so you never feel limited in your ability to move through life.
2) Lower Body Strength
Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, squats are a highly effective way to build lower body strength. These muscles support stability in your legs, making sure your knees, hips, and ankles stay healthy. Strong muscles around a joint means healthier joints. Strong legs are vital for being able to walk long distances, bike ride, run, jump, and lift.
3) Strong Bones
Research has shown that resistance training can prevent osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones. The force created on the bones when squatting is highly beneficial and can actually increase bone density. Squatting throughout a lifetime supports healthy bones and can prevent fractures in the spine and hip, making it an important activity for all ages.
4) A Solid Core
Move over sit-ups! Squatting is one of the most functional ways to strengthen your entire core. By holding weight on your back, you are required to create a strong brace of muscle to keep your spine stable. Your lower back, abdominals, deep stabilizers, obliques all work hard during squats to keep your core solid and your back safe. Even with no added weight, using those core muscles to maintain an upright torso during the squat will help to keep the core strong.
5) Healthy Hormones and Immune System
Squats and your immune system? Yes! Hormones and your immune system are all very closely related. Squatting stimulates your body to produce human growth hormones (HGH) to help your muscles grow and repair from training. This circulating hormone also stimulates bone strength, cell repair, fat loss, and mood, among other positive health effects. Resistance training is also proven to support a strong immune system, and squats are an integral part of any good resistance training program!
6) A Nice Butt
We’re not joking … squatting is one of the most effective exercises for creating strong and shapely glutes. Of course, genetics, nutrition, goals, and lifestyle all come into play when discussing aesthetics, but anyone striving for a good looking bum can benefit from squats in their exercise program!
While we could probably list another 20 reasons to squat (anti-aging, increased metabolism, imbalances, posture, etc.), we hope that these six reasons have convinced you that squats are awesome!
Whether squatting with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, or your bodyweight, squats of some variation belong in almost every fitness program.
Would you like a workout that incorporates the best style of squats for you, your goals, and your current capabilities? Get in touch HERE and schedule a free initial consultation today!