Squats are a well rounded exercise with lots of benefits. Squats activate many muscular groups; although they are well known for their quadricep and glute activation, they also work the abdominals, the calves, the hamstrings and even upper body and back muscles if you hold a weight. But why is this beneficial you ask?
This day in age, due to the large portion of sedentary jobs, it’s difficult for adults to burn as much energy as they consume during their meals which has contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity within the population. In addition to this, as many adults have limited free time to undertake exercise, they typically want to try and burn as much energy as they can during their workouts. Therefore, as the squat recruits so many muscle groups (in fact, it works more muscles than any other individual exercise), it’s one of the best exercises to burn calories to help you achieve a healthy body weight. It’s also been found that squats improve your fat metabolism to give your a more lean and toned figure.
Improves Balance and Mobility
As we get older, our bodies naturally begin to deteriorate, losing as much as 2% muscle mass each year. This reduction in muscle mass reduces our muscular strength, balance and mobility which increases our risk of falls as we get older. However, performing squats can help to strengthen the muscles and improve our balance and stability which in turn helps to prevent falls later in life. Therefore, squats can help us to maintain a better quality of life and reduce our risk of injury as we get older.
In addition to strengthening the muscles, squats also help strengthen ligaments and stabiliser muscles which are well known for preventing injuries amongst athletes. BUT, this only applies if you perform the squat correctly as an incorrect form of a squat can actually increase your risk of injury. So pay extra attention to your technique, particularly when fatigue sets in!
Squats have also been shown to improve running speed and jumping ability (power) which can also allow you to work harder for longer.
As a result of moving your body through a full range of motion during the squat, it’ll help to improve the flexibility throughout the body which can also help to prevent injury and back pain.