Drop it like a squat
If you want a little more bang for your proverbial buck, look no further than the squat. Squats are the most primitive movement pattern known to mankind, and without question the most productive leg exercise for increasing overall strength, performance, and muscle size. It is a movement we do each and every day – whether it is getting in and out of the car or rising from a chair. It is a natural, functional movement.
While squats aren’t mandatory to build your lower body effectively, the benefits of squats extend to such a wide variety of different areas. It is recommended to include them in your training plan as long as you’re physically able to do so.
Squats are one of the most physically and mentally demanding lifts, so be prepared.
Let’s take a look at why squats are beneficial for you.
Squatting can help you maintain your balance. Strengthening your lower body helps fortify the nerve system that controls movement in that area, allowing you to keep the natural sense of equilibrium that complements fluid movement. Muscles learn and internalise repeated behaviour patterns. Squats contract and move muscle responsible for mobility, helping you keep your poise and composure.
Overall leg workout
Unlike any particular exercise equipment at the gym, which target only specific muscles, you use every single muscle in your leg when you perform a squat. The act of keeping yourself balanced and upright will give your entire leg a workout, all in one go!
Squats build muscle all over
They build muscle and strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, and create the ideal environment throughout the entire body. Naturally releasing testosterone and growth hormone, squats provide a highly anabolic environment for all other areas to grow when trained. If you want to increase muscle mass and strength in all areas, squatting is the king of exercises.
Squats burn more fat
Squats pack on muscle mass, and is a highly effective way to burn fat. The more muscle you have on your frame, the more calories you will burn during training and at rest. If you want to get lean, stick to the big compound lifts like the squat.
Squats are functional
The squat can relate to a myriad of real-life activities helping to avoid injury and increasing efficiency in everyday life.
Squats help maintain mobility by increasing overall lower body strength. By performing squats in a full range of motion (ROM) you strengthen your leg muscles at all points, preventing weaknesses and increase strength during other performance-related, mobile activities.
Squats strengthen your core
Squats help contract the core, the muscle groups surrounding your hips and abdominals, effectively and efficiently. These contractions are more intense than traditional crunches.
Squats have the ability, when done correctly, to strengthen joints and prevent injury. The hip, knee and ankle joints all work together to lift the load. This load is distributed across these selected joints for more strength and less stress on any one particular joint.
Build a butt
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a shapely derrière. Squats can firm up your buttocks in no time at all, without placing any undue strain on your back. So, if you want a rear to be proud of, squat!
Of course, all of the above would be more fascinating when accentuated by a butt shot.
Drop it low!
By Letitia Kleynhans