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Why you should SQUAT – KHo Fitness

by on 11/16/2016
 

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If you’re looking to gain strength, you must SQUAT! The Squat, in my opinion, is arguably the most superior exercise for gaining strength. It uses your entire body and is very functional as well. You squat every time you sit down in a chair, on the toilet, in your car, at your desk and at the dinner table. Whether you are into working out, martial arts, hiking, hunting, shooting sports tactical training, squats will help you to improve.

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Before starting any workout routine, it is important to learn the exercise properly. Good form is key in preventing injury. Let me start by saying this, squatting all the way down is healthy! So many people believe that squatting low is bad for your knees but that is a misconception. Functionally, it makes sense that we are able to move our bodies up and down. Don’t practice partial squats. Full depth squats are going to help increase your strength drastically. You will engage your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and even abdominals. Since you are utilizing big muscle groups, you will see how doing weighted squats regularly can greatly increase your strength, build lean muscle mass and even increase your metabolism. Anyone looking to burn more calories, even while resting, should start increasing their muscle mass and squatting is one of the most effective ways to do that. Because it is a compound movement, you utilize more muscles with heavier weight than you do performing other exercises such as the bench press. This is why adding weighted squats to your workout routine will help you gain overall strength quickly and effectively.

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To perform a squat – stand with you feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly pointed away, bend at the knees, drop your hips until they break parallel with the floor and then stand back up. Make sure your knees are not buckling in, your weight isn’t going to your toes, your chest is out and that your back is not rounded. Actively think about pushing your knees out through the entire motion and staying on your heels. I usually tell my clients to lift their toes to help remind them to be pushing through their heels. This movement involves the hip, knee and ankle so good mobility at all of these joints is ideal for safe and efficient performance.

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Besides strength, there are a lot of other benefits to weighted squats. Squats will help you build muscle. The heavier you squat, the stronger and bigger your muscles will become. Squats will help you burn fat. You lose fat when you are burning more energy than you consume. Large muscle groups work together to perform the squat and therefore burn more energy. Heavy squats will also increase your metabolism post workout so you will be burning more calories even when you are doing nothing. Squats will improve your cardiovascular fitness. Your heart is a muscle and it becomes stronger when you squat. This means when you perform other exercises, your heart will perform more efficiently. Squats will increase your endurance. Stronger legs mean you can run faster and longer because each step will take less effort. Contrary to what many believe, squats will not slow you down.

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Squats strengthen your bones. The added weight provides vertical compression which increases bone density as a response. This helps in preventing Osteoporosis. Squats strengthen your joints by increasing the muscle tissue around the hip joints, knee joints, ankle joints, and spine. Squats will improve your flexibility by having you work full range of motion. Squats will improve your balance by training you to balance the barbell as you move up and down. It improves your coordination and proprioception (the ability to be aware of your body as it moves through space). I recommend choosing free weight squats if you want to improve your balance. Lastly, squats will help you gain discipline. Doing something that is difficult, especially when you don’t want to, will help train your mind. Discipline can transfer over to healthy habits in other areas of life.

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So many people skip squats because they think they are hard or that they are bad for the knees. In all honesty, if you’re not squatting every week, your training program is ineffective. I really hope this article inspires you to add squats to your routine. Also, there are so many variations (back squats, front squats, overhead squats, split squats, etc) to change it up and to recruit different and sometimes more muscle groups. I’ll get into that at a later time so stay tuned. Take home advice – if you have only time for one exercise, make sure you squat!

Source:
KHo Fitness
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