Squats are the go-to exercise to lower body strengthening and shaping.
A squat is the movement of bending knees to lower hips from a standing position, as if going to sit in a chair, using the lower body strength to bring the body back up to a standing position.
Squatting correctly, with variations, is a full-body exercise, for this reason it should be added to the regular workout routine, together with sit-ups, push-ups and planking.
Squatting doesn’t necessarily require equipment. It can be done at home, in a park, in a gym, or anywhere. Once got the basic position, weight can be added and the move becomes more advanced and effective.
There are four main reasons why Squats should be done.
- Better glutes and legs
Squats use glutes muscles to help propel the body up to a standing position, with evident toning results. Squats will make the glutes look firmer and more shaped or increased in size, while toning leg muscles, in particular quads and harmstrings.
Stronger legs provide a more stable base for every movement, reducing injuries risk.
- Increasing blood flow
Working lower body muscles encourages blood flow to that part of the body, increasing circulation throughout the entire body.
Squatting slower with heavy weights, builds muscles, in particular the big gluteus, and helps to relieve some of the pressure on the walls of arteries, allowing blood to flow freely.
Squatting faster with lighter weights, turns it into a cardio exercise that gets the heart pumping faster.
- Strengthening joints and core
Strengthening muscles also means strengthening the joints around them. When working thigh muscles, knees and hips are stabilized, too. Rising up from a squat, the core is vital to help to bring back to a standing position. Completing proper squats tightens ab muscles, too.
It’s important to perform squats correctly, therefore to make sure that knees don’t go far past the feet and that weight is focused on the heels.
- Better posture, jumping, running and every day tasks
Squatting also helps to stabilize the spine, therefore to sit and stand up straight. With a stronger base, jumping and running are enhanced, propelling the body off and forward the ground, pushing off the ground harder. Bending over or walking up stairs becomes easier, too.
There are different variations to be tried to isolate different muscle groups, such as yoga and plié squatting, sumo squatting, or other squats depending whether the squat Is performed while moving laterally, jumping, with variations on arms, feet and legs positions.