Four reasons why you should be doing more squats

The squat allows us to meet many goals, from stronger abs to improving posture

Vahdaneh Vahid
Vahdaneh Vahid - Special to Al Arabiya English
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The squat is an excellent compound, multi-joint exercise that should be part of everyone's routine. It is relatively simple to perform, requires no equipment, and can be done anywhere. The squat allows us to meet many goals, from stronger abs to improving posture. So here are four good reasons why you should be doing more squats.

1. Burn fat

As squats build-up your leg muscles, this creates an anabolic environment in the body, which triggers the release of testosterone and growth hormones. Both of these hormones are vital for muscle growth and muscle mass.

One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is to gain more muscle! For every half kg of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 5kgs of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day, even while you are at resting!

2. Prevents injury

Squats are basic and functional movement, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. The “full” squat is a natural human posture often used as an alternative to sitting in Asian cultures and among young children. Performing squats offers many health benefits and can serve as a way to correct postural imbalances and prevent injury by improving your flexibility, mobility and balance.

The gluteus maximus is one of the largest muscles in the body and is an important stabilizer muscle of the trunk and legs. The gluteus region is an integral to performing many activities we do on a daily basis like walking, lifting, and running. Squatting strengthens your gluteus maximus, which helps your muscles work more efficiently. And these benefits all translate into your body moving better in the real world.

3. Tone your entire body

There are few exercises that work as many muscles as, the squat, so it's an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening the bottom, abs, and, of course, your legs. During the squat motion the core muscles are deeply engaged the entire time, resulting in a stronger, flatter stomach!

Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose, improving metabolism and reducing insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

4. Reduce joint pain

Squats have long been criticized for being destructive to your knees. However, when performed properly, squats actually improve knee stability and strengthen connective tissue. The motion of squatting and using your own body weight is not only a safe activity, but can have a great influence on overall physical health.

The perfect squat:

Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart

Keep your back in a neutral position, and keep your knees centered over your feet

Slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle

Return to starting position

Breathe out as you lower, breathe in as you return to starting position

Repeat 15-20 repetitions, for 2-3 sets for beginners.

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