12 Science-Backed Benefits of Squats You Should Know About

We don’t need to tell you that the squat is worth doing, but there are probably more benefits to doing squats than you’re aware of. For one, squatting is a movement pattern we engage in daily — like when we sit on the toilet or bend down to pick something up — so it’s important to practice the motion. 

Squats — be it a back squat, front squat, or Zercher squat — also burn many calories, increase your quad mass and glute mass, and boost the production of muscle-building hormones. To learn all the benefits incorporating squats into your training plan will bring you, keep on reading this science-backed article. 

Benefits of Squats

  • Bigger, Stronger Leg Muscles
  • A Higher Vertical
  • Improved Core Strength
  • More Confidence
  • The Ability to Produce More Power
  • Improved Mobility
  • You’ll Burn More Fat
  • Help Prevent Injuries
  • Forge Stronger Joints
  • You’ll Sprint Faster
  • Naturally Boost Hormone Production
  • Improved Posture

Squats Develop Bigger, Stronger Legs Muscles

This probably isn’t a surprise. After all, the squat is a leg-focused movement that requires your major lower-body muscles to work in tandem. Here’s an overview of the main leg muscles bolstered by the squat. 

  • Glutes: Combined, the gluteus maximus and medius make up the largest muscle in the human body, responsible for a large portion of our power production. You can strengthen the glutes by squatting — which is important considering that stronger glutes aid in lower body strength and stability. (1)
  • Quads: The four quad muscles — vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris — support leg extension and protect the knee from instability. Also, research suggests that fuller ranges of motion can elicit significant quad growth at lower intensities. Simply put: you don’t always need to squat heavy to build mass, but you do need to squat in the full range of motion. (2)
  • Hamstrings: Made up of the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris, the hamstrings flex the leg during exercise and when walking, jogging, and running. The hamstrings also play a large role in our jumping abilities.
  • Calves: Your calves are made up of the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These muscles help us move faster (through plantar flexion), improve ankle stability, and support proper lower extremity mechanics. Strong calves also increase our ankle strength and improve our ability to generate and absorb power through the ground when jumping, lifting, and running. Also, squatting can put our calves through more ranges of motion than static calf exercises can. One study concluded that limitations in plantar flexion (pushing your toes into the floor during squats) led to knee valgus, a common issue in which the knees collapsed inwards, resulting in excessive stress at the knee joint. (3)
Benefits of doing squats
Puhhha/Shutterstock

A Higher Vertical

Squats improve our ability to jump. How? Since we’re strengthening all of the lower extremities, we’re increasing our ability to produce power (stronger and better-conditioned muscle equals better power output). A study published in 2012 analyzed 59 participants and their vertical jump while following a ten-week program that focused on three squat variations: front squat, back squat, and partial squat. The results? Deep full squats improved vertical jump by increasing the ability to develop force. (4)

Improved Core Strength

In this scenario, we’re referencing the whole torso as the core, not just the abs. When you’re holding weight and moving through multiple planes of motion, the body must work hard to remain stable and not fall over. This, in return, strengthens the core as a whole, which includes the lower back, inner spinal stabilizers, mid-back, obliques, and abdominal musculature. (5)

More Confidence

This benefit is a bit more anecdotal, but there’s something to be said for the self-belief that heavy squats can build. Squats are inherently dangerous and extremely taxing on the body. To support hundreds of pounds on your shoulders and then perform a deep squat takes guts and confidence. As you add more weight to the barbell, you’ll build more confidence. At first, 315 may seem heavy, and then it’s your warm-up weight. If you can power through squats, then a heavy deadlift doesn’t seem as bad. The same goes for bench presses. 

The Ability to Produce More Power

Squats increase our ability to jump, but they also increase our ability to produce power when done explosively, such as in the jump squat. (6) Leg extension, flexion, and hip extension are all key players when we’re sprinting, absorbing force (landing of jumps and braking in a sprint), jumping, and moving weight. You won’t gain power by ignoring the largest part of your body, aka, the lower extremities (legs). 

Improved Mobility

Mobility isn’t just about your range of motion but how strong you are in specific ranges of motion. squats improve your ability to, well, squat. Repeatedly performing squats train your joints to move through Squats through multiple planes of motion. And adding weight to your squats over time will result in strength at both the bottom and top of a squat. That newfound squat strength carries over everyday life. (7)

[Related: How to Burn Fat For Weight Loss and More Definition]

You’ll Burn More Fat

The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn during the day. Since the squat strengthens multiple large muscle groups at once and requires a ton of energy to execute properly, you’ll increase the number of calories you burn during a set of squats compared to, say, leg extensions. One study concludes that weight training while dieting is one of the most important factors if the goal was to maintain lean muscle and strength (so make sure you lift weights when dieting, don’t just do cardio). (8)

Help Prevent Injuries

A majority of, not all, injuries when moving can be linked to imbalances and weaknesses. The squat improves knee and hip stability, which can help remedy a lot of issues associated with imbalances. (9) Along with fixing imbalances and weaknesses, the squat can be a great tool for assessing deficits we may experience when lifting (basically, using proper form to perform a movement diagnosis). (10)

Build Stronger Joints

When it comes to the function of your joints, if you don’t use it, you do lose it. However, when you regularly squat, you strengthen and build the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments that make up our joints involved in squats. (11

[Related: Here’s Every Step Required to Build Your First Workout Program]

You’ll Sprint Faster

We’ve already asserted that squats improve power output, and power output affects your sprinting abilities. However, there are studies that show a direct correlation between sprint speeds and full squat power outputs. Fourteen soccer players tested both their vertical jumps and sprint times and then performed weighted squat jumps and full squats. Both squat variations resulted in faster sprint times. (12)

Naturally Boosts Hormone Production

Squats have been shown to improve our natural hormone production — mainly testosterone and growth hormone. (13) While studies are still conflicted about the reasoning behind this, there’s a hypothesis that generally agrees. It’s most likely a reaction to the stress of highly demanding movements and forces, such as free weights.

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Improved Posture

When you improve your core strength and lower extremities, you improve your posture. Posture is influenced by both anterior (front) and posterior (back) muscles, creating a healthier body. When performed with proper form, squats can improve our hip health by combating things like the act of sitting all day (don’t forget to stretch and mobilize).

Also, squats build our torso strength to prevent things like internal rotation of the shoulders and kyphosis (hunchback). It’s important to note that stretching and mobilizing are also keys to improved posture, not just squatting. 

How to Do the Squat

Of course, you can’t benefit from squats if you don’t know how to do them. Here’s the right way to do a back squat.

  • Step up to the center of the bar and plant your feet about shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and set your hands on the bar just outside your shoulders.
  • Make sure your shoulders aren’t rising toward your ears, but engage your traps. Let the bar settle on the shelf created by the tension in your upper back.
  • Stand up fully so that the bar is unracked. Let it settle, then take two or three steps back. Re-establish your foot position and make sure you’re still braced.
  • As you descend into your squat, press your knees out (instead of letting them cave in). Keep your torso relatively upright, maintaining a vertical path above your midfoot with the bar.
  • Once you’ve reached depth (breaking parallel with your thighs), imagine your feet driving down into the ground to push yourself back to standing.
  • Maintain your core brace and repeat.

[Related: The Best Barbells For CrossFit, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Deadlifts, and More]

Back Squat Variations 

There are a lot of ways to squat, and though they may be different, they’re all beneficial. Here are five squat variations worth trying. 

Pause Back Squat

The pause squat is performed identically as a regular back squat, except that the lifter will pause at some point during a rep. Most commonly, the pause will occur at the bottom of the squat. However, you can also pause at parallel, halfway into the squat, or at any other stage where there may be a weakness or need for improvement.

Goblet Squat

The goblet squat is a fantastic back squat alternative for beginners that want to nail down their movement mechanics. Besides being a great precursor for back squats, the goblet squat is a great exercise to do during warm-ups and when teaching torso positioning. 

[Related: What Most Lifters Get Wrong About Progressive Overload]

Split Squat

While not traditionally done with a front rack position (however it can be), the split squat is a great unilateral exercise to develop quadriceps strength and muscle mass. This exercise can be used as an accessory movement to increase front squat and lower body performance.

1 1/2-Rep Squat

The 1 1/2 squat entails lifters performing a full rep, then a half rep to complete one full rep. This variation is great for increasing time under tension, improving postural positions, and sharpening mental awareness during the squat. Be warned: this one burns. 

[Related: Cluster Sets Are the Intensity Booster Your Workouts Need]

Hack Squat

The hack squat machine is an excellent alternative to the back squat as it helps emphasize quadriceps growth via increased knee flexion. This is ideal for lifters who need additional quadriceps development yet may be limited by their mobility, upper back strength, or a combination of the two. The hack squat can be done using tempos, pauses, and double pauses to really maximize growth.

Final Word

Do you have to squat? No — of course not. But, squats can help you build more muscle, increase strength, develop great athleticism, enhance your posture, and even help you lose fat. Before you do the movement, ensure that you perfect your squat form and take the necessary safety precautions. 

Reference

  1. TM;, E. (n.d.). Effect of back squat depth on lower-body postactivation potentiation. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23442291/
  2. LZ;, B. (n.d.). Effect of squat depth and barbell load on relative muscular effort in squatting. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22797000/
  3. Macrum, E., Bell, D., Boling, M., Lewek, M., & Padua, D. (2012, May 01). Effect of limiting ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion on lower extremity kinematics and muscle-activation patterns during a squat. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/jsr/21/2/article-p144.xml
  4. Hartmann H;Wirth K;Klusemann M;Dalic J;Matuschek C;Schmidtbleicher D;. (n.d.). Influence of squatting depth on jumping performance. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22344055/
  5. PA;, A. (n.d.). Electromyographic and kinetic comparison of the back squat and overhead squat. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24662228/
  6. M;, B. (n.d.). The load that maximizes the average mechanical power output during jump squats in power-trained athletes. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11708714/
  7. Myer, G., Kushner, A., Brent, J., Schoenfeld, B., Hugentobler, J., Lloyd, R., . . . McGill, S. (2014, December 1). The back squat: A proposed assessment of functional deficits and technical factors that limit performance. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262933/
  8. Ballor, D., Katch, V., Becque, M., & Marks, C. (1988, January 01). Resistance weight training during caloric restriction enhances lean body weight maintenance. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/47/1/19/4694815
  9. RF;, E. (n.d.). Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11194098/
  10. Myer, G., Kushner, A., Brent, J., Schoenfeld, B., Hugentobler, J., Lloyd, R., . . . McGill, S. (2014, December 1). The back squat: A proposed assessment of functional deficits and technical factors that limit performance. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262933/
  11. Ballor, D., Katch, V., Becque, M., & Marks, C. (1988, January 01). Resistance weight training during caloric restriction enhances lean body weight maintenance. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/47/1/19/4694815
  12. López-Segovia, M., Marques, M., Van den Tillaar, R., & González-Badillo, J. (2011, December). Relationships between vertical jump and full squat power outputs with sprint times in u21 soccer players. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3588648/
  13. Shaner AA;Vingren JL;Hatfield DL;Budnar RG;Duplanty AA;Hill DW;. (n.d.). The acute hormonal response to free weight and machine weight resistance exercise. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24276305/

Featured image: Puhhha/Shutterstock


— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article What are the benefits of squats? from the website www.livescience.com for the keyword benefits of doing squats.

Lots of people perform them, but what are the benefits of squats? Well, as it turns out, plenty! Athletes and bodybuilders often use squats as a strength training exercise to improve lower body strength. This can be achieved by using your own bodyweight or adding some extra resistance to your workout with a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) or a barbell and weight plates.

However Chris Gagliardi, an American Council on Exercise (opens in new tab) certified personal trainer, says this form of strength conditioning exercise isn’t just for professionals. “Squats are beneficial for everyone,” he tells us. “From elite athletes to older adults and women during the postpartum period.” But why is this? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says building strength helps to reduce the risk of age-related conditions like osteoporosis and sarcopenia, as well as improving posture, focus and balance. And performing a squat is no different.

Whether you choose to use one of the best resistance bands or opt for your own bodyweight, the benefits of squats are immense. Below we dive into the science behind it all, including exploring the main squat variations and the correct squat form.

What are the benefits of squats?

1. It builds lower body muscle

Squatting can help you build muscle in your lower body, research published in the BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation journal has found. That’s because the leg-focused exercise requires your lower posterior chain (which includes your low back, glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles) to work together as you squat your body down and back up again.

Read more  11 benefits of squats to improve your overall fitness

According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, muscle building happens when you perform exercises that use resistance – like squats. But whether you are building muscle or maintaining muscle, Gagliardi says squatting is ‘essential during daily living’. He explains: “Including squats as part of your exercise routine will help to ensure that you have the required muscular strength and endurance to continue to do the things you enjoy in life.”

2. Squats keep you functional

Without even meaning to, most of us squat every day. According to a study published in the BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation journal , squatting ‘features components of everyday functional movements’, like sitting down and standing up.

“Squatting is considered a bend-and-lift movement which is one of the five primary movement patterns that we use throughout daily life,” Gagliardi tells us. “Consider that every time you stand from a sitting position, or squat down to pick an object up off the floor, you are doing a squat. Squats are something we do often, and it is important to have the appropriate muscular fitness and power to perform squats throughout your activities of daily living.”

3. Squats can improve your joint stability and posture

(Image credit: Getty)

Squatting doesn’t just target your muscles. According to Gagliardi: “Performing squats helps to teach proper movement patterns with proper postural and joint stability.” And science agrees. One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found squats can improve bone mineral density (BMD). This helps to add strength to your skeleton and maintain sturdier bones.

Further research published in The Journal of Human Kinetics concluded that squats are four times more likely to activate the spine muscles than planks.  These are the muscles which help you stand up and therefore aid posture.

4. You can burn fat

While some people turn to running to lose weight, weight loss can also be achieved by performing compound exercises such as squatting. As concluded by a 2022 peer reviewed chapter in the book Weight Management – Challenges and Opportunities: “Resistance training (RT) exercises for weight management should focus on large muscle groups and those exercises utilizing compound movements, such Olympic lifts, deadlifts and squats.”

Researchers found that this type of compound exercise requires an “elevated oxygen use and hormonal response”, therefore it results in “high-calorie-expenditure”.

5. Squatting can improve flexibility

As you squat, it challenges all the lower muscles in your body. Research published in PeerJ says that’s because this exercise is performed in a closed kinetic chain involving the hip, knee, and ankle joints and it requires a “significant level of hip and ankle mobility as well as stability of the lumbar spine”.

As we age, our tendons, muscles, and ligaments become less elastic. But according to Harvard Medical School, squatting is an effective stretch for your hamstrings, which can stiffen up from too much sitting. The outcome? An increase in lower body flexibility.

What are the main squat variations?

No matter what stage of resistance training you’re at, there are a number of squat variations to suit all. Different variations can target different muscle groups too, which is useful if you’re trying to target certain areas for strength training. Sam Hopes, resident fitness writer at Live Science, advises trying out the following.

Bodyweight squats

(Image credit: Getty)

As the name suggests, a bodyweight squat is a squat performed using bodyweight alone. This is a compound movement (one that works multiple muscle groups and joints), and is beneficial for beginners or anyone recovering from injury. It also helps you to learn the fundamentals of squat form without any additional stress from weight-bearing. A squat primarily targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, but also strengthens your core and hips, too. It’s brilliant for improving balance, coordination, and range of motion, as well as building a strong foundation for more progressive squat variations. 

How to perform this squat:

Stand with your feet hip-width or shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forwards. Pull your shoulder blades back and down. Inhale, brace your core, push your hips back, and bend your knees to lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Ensure your chest stays up and your weight remains over your heels rather than in the balls of your feet. As you exhale, drive through your heels to stand. If you’re struggling to balance, you can keep your arms out in front of you as a counter-weight.

Front squat

(Image credit: Getty)

A front squat simply refers to a squat that is front-loaded. For example, racking your weight (like a dumbbell or plate) close to your chest, or a barbell across the front of your deltoids (shoulders). The benefits of a front squat include strengthening your hips and core, as well as working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Front squats place more emphasis on your anterior chain (the muscle groups located in the front of your body) and are a quad-dominant exercise. This form of squat also puts less stress on your knees which can help prevent injury and improve range of motion. 

How to perform a front squat:

Rack your weight up to your chest and shoulders (placement will depend on which type of weight you are using), and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart – toes pointed forwards. Inhale, brace your core, push your hips back, and bend your knees to lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Ensure your chest stays up and your weight remains over your heels, rather than in the balls of your feet. As you exhale, drive through your heels to stand. 

Tip: The weight should never track further than your mid foot during a front squat. During barbell front squats, ensure you get under the bar and rest the weight on your shoulders, not your clavicle. 

Back squat

(Image credit: Getty)

A back squat refers to a squat that is back-loaded using a barbell or similar (like a sandbag.) Back squats work the same muscles, and hold the same benefits, as bodyweight and front squats, but the emphasis is now placed on your posterior chain (the muscle groups located in the back of your body.) This works the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles harder. Back squats also require shoulder and ankle mobility, as well as back muscle activation to help drive and stabilize the movement. 

How to perform a back squat:

The barbell (or whichever weight you are using) should be racked onto your traps and rear deltoids (backs of your shoulders.) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forwards, or slightly out to 45 degrees. Inhale, brace your core, and keep your body tight, then push your hips back and bend your knees to lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Ensure your chest stays lifted and your bodyweight remains over your heels, rather than in the balls of your feet. As you exhale, drive through your heels to stand. 

Single-leg squat

(Image credit: Getty)

Single-leg squats help improve range of motion, joint mobility, balance, core stability, and coordination. They’re generally used as a progression from a regular squat, and work the same muscles. Single-sided exercises are also great for activating lesser used, and weaker, muscles which can help prevent imbalances and injury. Why? Because your stronger side can’t pick up the slack. 

How to perform a single-leg squat: 

Stand on one leg and extend your other leg out in front of you – your knee can be bent or fully extended (known as a pistol squat.) Stand tall, brace your core, and find your balance, then squat as low as you can while keeping your chest up and spine straight. Pause at the bottom, then drive through your heel to stand on your exhale, and squeeze your glutes at the top. Swap sides. 

Tip: Your knee should never track over your toes and your weight should remain in your heel.  

Read more  How to Make Homemade Almond Milk with Benefits (Nut Milk Recipe)

Bulgarian split squat 

(Image credit: Getty)

This squat variation involves having your rear leg elevated behind you on a box or bench, and works the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. The emphasis is on the quads during this exercise, but leaning slightly forwards can also improve glute activation.

How to do a bulgarian split squat:

Use a stable surface like a knee-high box or bench, and extend one leg behind you to rest onto it. Toes can be tucked or untucked. If performing with weights, hold one in each hand by your sides. Keep your chest lifted, spine straight, and hips square, then bend your front leg and lower your back knee towards the ground. As you exhale, push through your front heel to stand and squeeze your glutes. Swap sides. 

Tip: Lean slightly forwards for optimal movement. Ensure you have enough space between you and the box or bench.  



Bibliography


— Update: 05-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article 11 benefits of squats to improve your overall fitness from the website www.themanual.com for the keyword benefits of doing squats.

There are many benefits of squats, and they arguably involve one of the most important foundational movement patterns when it comes to strength training. Nearly every total-body or lower-body resistance-training workout will include a variation of a squat due to its effectiveness.

If you have a lot of experience in the gym or training for sports performance, you’re likely familiar with squats and how to execute them properly. But are you aware of everything a squat can actually do for you? Below, we re-introduce you to one of the most effective exercises and explain why it’s essential to appreciate and regularly perform this lower-body-sculpting move.

Benefits of doing squats

Benefits of squats

1. Squats strengthen your legs

There are many benefits of squats, and while they strengthen quite a few muscles, they primarily target the legs. Squats strengthen your glutes (butt muscles), which are essential for power, core stability, and efficient forward propulsion when running, walking, jumping, and skipping. Squats also strengthen the quads, a group of four muscles on the front of your thigh that controls knee extension. On the backside of the legs, squats also strengthen the hamstrings and calves, both of which are instrumental in walking, running, and jumping.

2. Squats improve core strength

Benefits of doing squats

While squats may primarily work your legs, they also require core activation and work your glutes, hips, abs, obliques, and back extensors. In fact, studies investigating the muscle activation of various exercises demonstrated that squats actually require more involvement than planks. Having a strong core not only aids movement efficiency but also helps protect against injuries to the lower back and hips.

3. Squats increase your vertical jump

If you play sports like basketball, volleyball, or tennis, you’ll appreciate the boost your jump game gets from consistent squat workouts. The strength you’ll develop in your glutes, calves, and hamstrings from squats will help power a more explosive, impressive jumping ability.

4. Squats improve your posture

Benefits of doing squats

The core strengthening work — particularly along the erector spinae of the spine — from squats helps improve posture. Poor posture is associated with back pain, neck pain, sleep disturbances, and even slower metabolism. During a squat, you have to keep your back straight with your chest up while carrying the heavy load, and this is another factor that also encourages good posture outside of the gym.

5. Squats can make you a better runner

Squats improve the strength and power of your legs, which can translate to a more economical running stride and faster speeds. They can also help correct muscle imbalances created by long-distance running by requiring more glute and quad activation.

6. Squats can improve bone density

Loading your bones during squats can signal the body to increase the mineralization of your bones. Doing this also turns on key hormones that build bone rather than break it down. Bone density is particularly important as we age, so it’s certainly worth focusing on squats to delay bone loss.

7. Squats improve mobility

Squats can increase the mobility and flexibility of your ankles, hips, and knees. Including squats in your workout regimen can help you feel more limber and may protect against the risk of injuries. Squats can also improve your balance, particularly when you load on one side of the squat.

8. Squats burn calories

Benefits of doing squats

Like any exercise, performing squats — especially weighted squats — burns calories. Even more importantly, building lean muscle mass through exercises like squats increases your overall metabolic rate. This means that spending time in the gym getting your squats in will help you burn more calories the rest of the day (and night!) as well.

9. Squats can improve cardiovascular fitness

When performed quickly or in a circuit, squats can improve cardiovascular fitness and heart health. As a total-body movement, squats recruit nearly every major muscle in the body, especially when an external load is used. Therefore, a set of squats will get your heart pumping and lungs expanding.

10. Squats can be performed anywhere

While you might not be able to do heavy front-loaded squats at home without a squat rack, basic squats (along with many modifications) can be performed anywhere with just your body weight or minimal equipment. Whether you’re traveling and have only a small hotel room, or you want to get in a gym-free workout at home, squats are a convenient, powerful exercise move for tight spaces, limited time, and minimal equipment workouts.

11. Squats are versatile

Benefits of doing squats

There are so many ways to modify and alter squats to continually challenge your body and change up the muscular demand. From sumo squats and back squats to split squats and single-leg squats, you can find a different squat variety for every day of the week. Varying your squat routine keeps your muscles challenged and prevents boredom.

How to perform a squat

Benefits of doing squats

Here are the steps to perform a basic bodyweight squat:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing forward, your core engaged, and your chest up and proud.
  2. Inhale, bend your knees, and push your hips backward as if reaching your butt back to sit in a chair. Keep your back straight and chest up as your arms come forward in front of your body to act as a counterweight.
  3. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at 90 degrees.
  4. Exhale as you press through your heels to return to the starting position.

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References

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About the Author: Tung Chi