Squatting is one the most beneficial and one of the best exercises in this era. Often referred to as the “king of exercises” by a lot of people, it is a great exercise that works the whole human body. In fact, exercise science revealed that squatting works more muscles than even some popular exercises. Thus, it is most recommended for people that want to gain strength.
However, squatting is not only limited to muscle building alone, there are also different ways squatting can be beneficial to you. So here is a clear guide on the bodyweight squats benefits and other things you need to know about squatting.
Bodyweight squats benefits
Squatting helps to build muscles and gain strength;
A lot of muscles work when performing the squat. From the torso, the legs, and the upper body. So, when all these muscles work together, there is a release of hormones building muscles like testosterone. Thus, the more you squat properly, the more your muscles built, and the more your strength increases.
Squatting burns fat and increases fitness;
When you squat, you burn a lot of calories, therefore being one of the best exercises for weight loss. Also, since the heart is a muscle and squat deals with muscles, squatting helps to increase the effectiveness of your heart. Blood pressure decreases and cardiovascular fitness increased.
Squatting strengthens the bone;
Bones react to the vertical compression effect from squatting by actually becoming stronger. Bones are known as living tissues, so squatting doesn’t stunt their growth. Instead, it makes them stronger and increases their density.
Squatting strengthens joints;
A squat builds up the muscles connected to the joints, which in turn enhances the joint itself. Stronger joints lead to better support. Making them less vulnerable to injuries, and allows you to recover from back or knee injury more easily.
Squatting gives balance to the body;
Squatting helps to improve coordination, which in turn provides stability to the body. It also makes you even more agile and able to do more sports, and also carry out your daily activities.
Squatting Techniques: How To Do Squatting The Right Way
Straight head posture:
One of the common mistakes a lot of people make during the squatting exercise is bending their necks or looking downward. This throws off the spine from its position making the squat exercise very harmful. To correct this, you can choose a particular spot on the wall that aligns with your eyes as you are standing straight, then as you squat and move up and down you keep your eyes fixed on the wall. This way your head remains in a straight position.
Keep your shoulders back and your chest out:
Doing this helps to keep your spine in its proper position. It also helps to give your lower back the correct natural curve. If you push your shoulders to the front and push you your chest in, then the position of your spine might be displaced.
Arch your lower back slightly:
Arching your lower back too much during the squat exercise can be very harmful to your spine. It tightens the spine and then might end up injuring it, or worse! So always ensure your lower back is flat during squatting or slightly arched to prevent injury.
The depth of the squats:
The flexibility of your hips determines how low your squat can go. Although it is not advisable to go too low because of the knee pains, it can cause afterward especially if you add weight.
Keep your feet flat:
During squatting, always try to prevent raising your toes or heels as this can cause imbalance. So keep your feet flat on the ground to maintain your balance.
Keep your toes pointed out:
Keeping your toes pointed out a little bit during squatting can help you with stabilization, and also help to protect your knee joints.
Your knees should not be too forward:
During squatting, always make sure that your knees are not pushed too forward. If you push the knees too forward, you will drain your strength. Instead, they should be pushed out slightly and then left in that position while the hips go up and down to do the squats.
How to breathe during the exercise:
It is important to breathe (exhale up and inhale down) during squats because it is a strenuous and tough exercise. So, you have to breathe correctly during the exercise to prevent getting a sickening feeling, dizziness or even losing consciousness in some extreme cases.
Muscles Involved During Squat
Thighs (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus, and Hamstring).
Quadriceps Femoris: The “quad” as it is commonly called is one of the primary muscle that is utilized during squatting. The Quadriceps is made up of four other muscles that all come together during squats to give your body a proper balance.
Gluteus Maximus: This muscle plays a significant role in the development of the hips, it is a strong muscle and also the biggest muscle of all the gluteal muscles.
Hamstrings: These muscles are found at the back of the thigh, they are a set of large muscles, and their role is to assist the “gluteus maximus” in developing the hips.
Erector Spinae: the Erector Spinae plays a significant role in keeping your physique balanced, and preventing your lower back from arching. It also builds up the muscle at the end of your spine and defends it against injuries.
Gastrocnemius and soleus, Tibialis anterior, Sartorius, and Vastus Intermedius are other secondary muscles that are utilized during squatting, and all play their roles.
A lot of people don’t like doing squats because of the challenges involved in the exercise, but it is these challenges that make it effective in making your body healthier. However, if you have the determination to squat every week with the right techniques, then you are on your way to achieving the desired changes you want to your body. Do you like to do squats and why? Let us know in the comments down below!