Have you done your squats today? What? You haven’t? What’s stopping you?
It’s sad really, I take a look around the gyms now days and I rarely see anyone doing one of the best and most functional exercises of all time – the SQUAT.
What’s up people? Didn’t you know that squats can give you almost everything all of you are looking for in terms of exercise? Let’s take a look at some very good reasons why you should squat, and if you can still come to me with an excuse why not to squat then bring it on, if you don’t have a good excuse then I should see a whole army of fitness enthusiast squatters in the gym this year.
Why you should squat reason # 1: It burns a lot of calories
Hey fat loss fans, now you can get more climb for your time in the gym by getting off that slow moving cardio machine and get your feet firmly planted on the ground, and start performing some good quality squats to the point of near exhaustion. Do this and not only will you burn calories during your time in the gym, but the afterburn effect will still be sizzlin’ that fat away long after you’ve showered, had a post workout snack and are comfortably watching you favorite evening show at home. Keep it up with a good diet and people will start turning their heads when you walk by.
Why you should squat reason # 2: It’s Functional
In a day and age where we sit or lay down for the vast majority of the time, our leg strength (especially as we age) isn’t what our grand parents was, and because of this lack of leg strength people tend to get bothersome knees with age, difficulty maneuvering in and out of vehicles, difficulty taking the stairs, lifting every day object, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn and so much more. Learning to squat and implementing it into a routine is a great way to prevent your self from underperforming in everyday life activities. Bottom line, the squat is going to make you more functional.
Why you should squat reason # 3: It’s a great way to flatten your abs
It’s funny, even though I’ve printed more articles on how to flatten your abs and the myth that is spot reduction, I still see people doing endless crunches in the hopes of having a flat tummy or a six pack. A quick tip, crunches don’t equal awesome abs. Diet Diet and moving large amounts of muscle do. So if you’re diet cleans up and you start doing some challenging squats, guess what will happen? That’s right you’ll get a nice looking set of abs, oh and they won’t just look good, they’ll be strong too.
Why you should squat reason # 4: Builds lean Sexy muscle and boosts your metabolism
Hey Ladies before you get freaked out, don’t worry it’s not pounds and slabs of bulk, in order to do that you’ll have to eat every meal like it was your last. For those of you out there, who do want to pack on muscle then keep reading too and start eating every meal like it was you last, (all be it lean and healthy). Since squats work so much muscle at once (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, Low Back, Abdominals, Inner and outer thigh, Calves, Foot Muscles) squats are going to produce and positive anabolic hormonal effect on the body which promotes lean muscle gains which improves your metabolism which in effect helps with shedding fat.
I know many of you might not squat because you either don’t know how or are nervous that you might injure your knees. Some of you already squat but you suck at it (even if you don’t think so) and should read how to squat the right way before you damage your knees.
First a note on injuries:
A lot of people have knee injuries or sore knees and don’t want to squat. But guess what, all lot of you can rid your self of sore knees by doing the squat properly; others can rid themselves of low back pain, and joint imbalances. With that being said, some of you who do have arthritic knees or just plain really bad knees that are made painful even with a proper squat, should likely see a doctor before continuing on. I also recommend getting a postural analysis done before doing any exercises to help the prevention of chronic instabilities/injuries.
Keep in mind that there are over 32 variations of squats that I know of, and each have a certain advantage, but for this article’s sake I’m going to teach you the most basic form of the squat.
1. Start by placing feet shoulder width apart and holding your arms out in front of you.
2. Proceed to squat down like you are going to sit in a chair. Your upper body will lean forward slightly and your hips will shift backwards while going down.
3. Remember to keep your knees from going out in front of your toes while squatting.
4. Repeat according to your required repetitions. If you want to make the exercise more challenging hold your arms at your sides or behind your head.
Check out how a toddler does it (funny how it comes natural to kids and somewhere down the line we lose the ability)
Now check out how it might look as an adult
Big Chest : Try to make a big chest and squeeze your back and look straight ahead, this will prevent the rounding of the back.
Bend from hips: Initiate the motion from the hips and try to sit back between your legs.
Push from the heels: At any instant the weight should be on your heels and you should be able to wiggle your toes. Push the ground while coming up.
Knees out : Always push your knees outwards and you knees will thank you.
Go deep : Go as deep as you can, if you can not reach parallel then you need to work on your hips and ankle mobility.
For health, fitness, and a better looking body make the squat an important part of your workout.