If you want to know why you should do more squats, the easy answer is that they’re like a one stop shopping solution for any fitness challenge. Not only do they strengthen many parts of the body at once, but they can also improve your range of motion, help you burn more calories, and give you better posture.
True, you’ll definitely feel like you’re working when you do a few sets of squats. But the effort pays off. That’s why squats are frequently included in the New You 6 Week Challenge workouts! Here are 7 reasons why you should do more squats:
1. Strengthen your butt. I’ve talked about the importance of butt strength here before. A lack of butt strength can lead to all sorts of issues and imbalances in the body, including supporting muscles overcompensating and poor posture. Squats are a fantastic way to activate those sleepy glutes and bring them back to life.
When you squat, just about every lower body muscle is used, including the glutes. As this study found, the deeper the squat, the higher the glute activation, so don’t be afraid to squat deep!
2. Improve your range of motion. Squats guide the body through a full range of motion. This means that not only will you build strength, but you’ll also build flexibility by doing squats.
In particular, you’ll see an improvement in the range of motion on the hips. The hips are almost universally tight in people in the USA, due to our largely sedentary lifestyle, with lots of sitting at the computer on a daily basis. Countering your daily habits is an important reason why you should do more squats.
3. Strengthen your core. While squats aren’t as obvious as a core strengthener as, say, crunches or planks, they do your core a big service. Squats require plenty of stabilization, and that’s where the core muscles come in.
To keep you in a safe posture, your deep core muscles kick in to keep you upright. This means that you’ll gain strength in the abdominals.
4. Better posture. As we’ve already established, squats are effective in helping to improve hip flexibility and help strengthen the core by employing it for stabilization. Both of these things, plus the engagement of the back required for holding weight in your squats, can help you attain better posture.
Squats with front-loading weight in particular are helpful in this regard, as you are likely able to squat deeper, enhancing the core stabilization effects. By strengthening those abdominal and lower back muscles, you’ll be better able to maintain good posture.
5. Burn more calories. If you look around on the internet, you might get discouraged if you look at the stats on how many calories you’ll burn when you do squats. Or at least, it might not seem like they’re worth the effort. Why not run or jump on the elliptical instead?
The thing is, what these clickbait type articles neglect to mention is that by doing exercises like squats, you don’t just burn a certain number of calories while you’re engaging in the activity. Workouts like squats help build muscle. According to Yale researcher Christopher Wharton in this article, “10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories.” As you can see, doing squats can have positive long term effects on your calorie-burning power.
6. Improve circulation. Did you know that circulation relies heavily on movement? Since squats improve your range of motion and include so many parts of the body, they are a fantastic proactive step to avoid or to improve the effects of poor circulation.
By doing squats on a regular basis, you may find that symptoms of poor circulation such as your leg “falling asleep” or excessive cold in the extremities may be alleviated.
7. Make your life easier. Let’s talk on a non-fitness level for a minute. When considering all of the aforementioned benefits of doing squats, the results will benefit you in more ways than just toning your physique.
On a day to day basis, squats can make your life easier. Think about the whole “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” phenomenon. Many people have difficulty bending down or getting up due to lack of physical fitness, muscle tightness, or poor range of motion. Squats can help. They make everyday activities easier, which will have a big effect on improving your overall quality of life. This benefit should not be overlooked!
Conclusion: Squats are a standard part of the New You 6 Week Fitness Challenge workouts with good reason: because they deliver results. In reading the benefits of doing squats listed in this article, hopefully you’ll consider adding them as a regular part of your exercise routine.
Do you do squats?