Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps
Equipment: Body only or a resistance band
What are Squats?
Body weight squats are a full-body fitness exercise, the main emphasis of the exercise is on the hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and sneakily strengthen the core. Squats may help improve balance and coordination, as well as bone density . Plus, they’re totally functional.
The squat has the potential for bigger and faster muscle growth than many other exercises.
There are many variations of the squat such as the Barbell Squat
Muscles Worked in Squats
secondary: Hamstrings, hips and the Gluteal muscles
Benefits of Squats
Burn More Fat
One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle, For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats actually help to strengthen them. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance.
To further reduce injury risk, lift heavier weights and support your legs while performing the squat I recommend buying a knee sleeve support band from here: Knee sleeve
Build Muscles in Your Entire Body
Body weight squats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which influences body-wide muscle building.
Actually, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.
So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
Maintain Mobility and Balance
Strong legs are very Important for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are amazing for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls.
How to do Squats
- 1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, directly under your hips, and place your hands on your hips.
- 2. Standing up tall, put your shoulders back, lift your chest, and tighten your abdominal muscles.
- 3. Bend your knees while keeping your upper body as straight as possible, as if you were lowering yourself onto a seat behind you. Lower yourself as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward,however don’t allow your knees to go too far forward. You don’t want them to stick out past your toes.
- 4. Straighten your legs but be careful not to lock your knees when you reach a standing position.
Repeat for desired reps
Tip: Stretch your arms out in front of you for added balance during the exercise.
Mistakes commonly made in the Squat
Having a too narrow of a stance during the squat places more stress on the ligament in the knee which can cause injuries. Though a wider stance decreases stress which also means less chance of injuries.
Looking down or up
You should keep looking straight ahead as looking down or up can actually put your neck in an unsafe position and could result in injuries.
Position of Knees
You should also not allow your knees to extend beyond your toes. The knees should also be in line with the toes rather than angled to either side.
It is important that when performing the squat that you should keep your back straight and brace your abs throughout the exercise instead of performing with a rounded back and careless abs.
Safety when performing squats
You should talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you have had a previous injury or condition involving your ankles, knees, legs, hips, or back to see if this exercise is suitable for you.
If you feel any pain during the exercise, slowly lower the weights and end the exercise. Only use a weight you can press with good form for 10 reps.
Squatting can cause a lot of strain and stress on the knees even if you have had no history of knee problems. You can change this by changing your foot placement, using a wider stance decreases the stress on the knee while a narrower stance significantly increases stress. However the angle of the foot does not affect the stress on the knees.
Variations of Squats
Resistance band squat
Body weight squats With Loop Resistance Bands can make this exercise much more effective. Sure, Squats are great on their own, however, when you add the added tension of loop bands, you will be forced to push your legs outward. This helps to further strengthen the Glutes and Abductors.
If you need a resistance band a high quality one can be purchased from here: Resistance band
- 1. Grab a resistance band and loop it around your calf muscles.
- 2. Hold your hands out in front of you or by your sides.
- 3. Exhale and squat by bending your knees into a sitting position so that your thighs are parallel with the floor
- 4. Inhale and push off with your feet to stand and return to the starting position.
Repeat for desired reps
Write below in the comments your opinion on the squat, if it works for you and any questions you might have.