Why Adding Squats to a Workout Routine Is Vital to Overall Health
Posted: September 8, 2015
A common misperception is that squat exercises are only good for competitive athletes. Although the squat is a staple in many strength-training programs, when performed properly, the exercise can benefit anyone, no matter their age, occupation, or physical capability.
Think about it: Even if you work a desk job, you still get up and down out of your chair, right? When you do, you are performing the movements of the squat, and incorporating squats into your workout routine has several physiological benefits many people fail to consider.
A proper squat uses all of the joints in your lower body — ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. It also incorporates the largest muscle groups in your body — glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. The hamstrings and quads comprise your thigh (quads in the front, hamstrings in the back), and both opposing sides are taxed thoroughly during the squatting movement.
As you descend into the squatting position, the quadriceps on the front of your thigh bear the weight of holding you up, making sure you don’t completely collapse to the floor. As you begin pushing your body upward from the squatted position, the quads continue to work as they extend your knee joints, with the glutes and hamstrings harboring the task of propelling your hips forward and your body upward.
These muscles do not get to completely rest and relax until the movement is completed, making the squat one of the most comprehensive and time-efficient exercises.
In addition to working some important muscle groups, adding squats to your routine also strengthens the bones and connective tissues in your lower body. As your leg muscles become stronger and more powerful, in turn the joints that they move become stronger and more stable.
Just like muscles, tendons and ligaments gain strength when they are taxed, resulting in your lower body base being more balanced and stable. What does that mean for you? Less risk of injury and a more capable support system as you age.
Because our bodies burn fuel based on energy output (what we commonly refer to as caloric expenditure), and squats engage our largest muscle groups, the squat is the most efficient way to use energy, burn calories, and increase metabolism — all necessary for people looking to lose weight and slim up. In addition, because the core musculature must be engaged in order to squat, an added benefit is a stronger, slimmer midsection and reduced waist size.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to be a superior athlete or in “better shape” to incorporate squats into your workouts. They benefits everyone — including you.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.