THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON FIT AND ME.
Squats are a truly fantastic exercise to perform, they have a huge number of benefits, and there are many different kinds of squats, each which challenge you in a slightly different way. The benefits of squats are all essential to a long and healthy life, and they will go a long way in making you a physically fit person.
If you don’t already do squats on a regular basis, you might just change your mind once you read what we have to say and realize how good for you they really are!
Benefit #1: Improving Muscle Strength
One of the biggest benefits that you get by far from doing squats is that they help strengthen your legs immensely, and that is no small benefit at all. Doing squats, especially if you dip down really low will go a long way in strengthening many different muscles in your legs, especially your glutes, hamstrings, and your thighs in general. Also, it is shown that doing really deep squats can engage your glutes up to 25% percent more than squats that are not very deep, just something to keep in mind.
A great thing about squats is that you can start by doing them with absolutely no weight, and then you can start using a bar, dumbbells, or a kettlebell to slowly increase the weight, therefore offering a constant challenge to your muscles.
Of course, we all want stronger muscles because they help us perform physical tasks with greater ease. Everything from doing the squats themselves and walking up stairs to lifting heavy loads is made easier thanks to the squat. On a side note, the squat is known as a functional exercise, which means that it helps to train muscles and motions which you often use in your everyday life.
Moreover, doing squats also helps your body produce large amounts of testosterone and HGH or human growth hormone, both things which help to speed up muscle growth and muscle recovery. Another good point to keep in mind is that you can clench your abs to engage your core, and you can use your arms, or even hold weights in order to engage your arms, shoulder, and back muscles too.
It actually takes a whole lot of core and back strength to properly execute a single squat, and if you don’t have a strong core, after a few squats that will definitely change. Squats may not seem like they would strengthen so many muscles, but they definitely do. There are several research studies out there which prove that squats go a very long way in improving muscle strength, so much so that you will be able to jump higher and run faster just from doing some regular squats.
Benefit #2: Burning Calories, Fat, and Controlling Diabetes
Another benefit that is definitely worth mentioning when it comes to doing squats is that they are excellent in terms of helping you achieve your healthy weight goals. First of all, like we discussed before, squats help build muscle, and more muscle mass means more automatic fat burning. It is said that for every pound of muscle you gain your body will burn between 35 to 50 calories per dayjust from that one extra pound of muscle.
Doing squats will build lots of muscle and in the long run, that means burning an increased number of calories. Moreover, you can do squats in a form of circuit training, and you can do many reps after another, therefore they are quite the calorie intensive exercise. Your body requires a fair number of calories to do lots of squats, therefore burning away that Big Mac you ate for lunch.
Also, if you don’t have too many calories available your body will turn to your gut and love handles for energy, therefore burning away body fat. If you gain muscle to burn fat, and burn calories through squatting, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit, you will be able to lose several pounds per month without issue. Moreover, squats will also help increase your EPOC and overall metabolism too. The bottom line is that doing squats will cause your body to burn greater amounts of fuel for the same amount of exercise, thus helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
On a side note to this, exercises like squats cause your muscles to burn up glucose in your blood. This is beneficial for people who suffer from diabetes or are at risk of developing it. This is because diabetes involves the limited capacity of your body to process glucose, something that has many extremely detrimental health effects. So, squats can help you burn up that excess glucose which a diabetic body has trouble dealing with on its own, therefore helping you control your diabetes.
Benefit #3: Increasing Circulation, Decreasing Cellulite, and Toning That Butt
Therefore, squats can actually strengthen your heart and make it work more efficiently, thus lowering your resting heart rate, lowering bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the chances of heart and arterial disease, decreasing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack, and yes, it helps increase circulation too. Increased circulation is vital for people who suffer from poor circulation, something that can result in tingly feelings, coldness in the extremities, and numbness. Anyone with these symptoms should definitely try some squats on for size.Yet another benefit that you can reap from doing some regular squats is that it will go a long way in increasing your blood circulation. Poor circulation can be the result of various issues, with poor cardiovascular health being one of the leading causes. Now, squats are not as good a cardio exercise as something like running or biking, but if you do many reps you will definitely get your heart pumping.
This leads us to our next point, that squats are great for toning your butt, and especially for getting rid of that ugly cellulite. Nobody wants cellulite on their butt and thighs because it looks like somebody did a horrible job paving a road.
Poor circulation is actually one of the leading causes of cellulite accumulation, thus, squats can help to decrease the amount of cellulite on your body by increasing blood flow. There is also the fact that you will end up with a seriously tight and toned butt, something that everybody will appreciate without a shadow of a doubt.
Benefit #4: Better Flexibility, Better Posture, and Fewer Injuries
The next benefit that you get from doing squats on the regular is that they can go a really long way in increasing your flexibility and this in preventing injuries too. As you get older, or if you have a lifestyle that involves minimal movement, your tendons, ligaments, and muscles become much tighter, less stretchy, and they lose their ability to stretch. This is of course a very bad thing because tight muscles are prone to being pulled and getting injured.