The Benefits of Squats and Why We Should All Do Them
The benefits of squats are limitless. Not only are they great for a total lower body workout, by adding free weights like dumbbells, you will engage the muscles of the upper body to give yourself a full body workout with just the one exercise.
Benefits of Squats
Muscle Building. Squats have an immediate impact of building your leg muscles, but they also boost muscle growth through your entire body. Studies show that squats also trigger the release of human growth hormones by activating so many different muscles. More growth hormones are necessary for the growth of new muscle.
Burning Fat and Calories. Compound exercises like squats work multiple muscles at the same time. When you involve numerous muscle groups in the same exercise you will burn many extra calories.
Body Tone. Squats are highly adequate for toning muscles. As you tone and add lean muscle, you are burning a lot of calories. By following a regular strength training plan 2-3 times a week that includes squats, you will be able to have the tight and toned body you dream about.
Bone Strength. Leg strengthening exercises can help to manage and maintain the prevention of diseases like osteoporosis and different forms of arthritis. Studies show that strengthening exercises for the legs can even help to build new bone.
Core Strength. Having a strong core is vital for having a healthy back The major core and lower back muscles are responsible for the stabilization of your spine.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms pointed straight out in front of you (as pictured).
Engage your ab muscles and lower your body like you are going to sit in a chair, pushing your hips back slightly.
Stop when your upper legs are close to parallel to the ground, or at a comfortable level.
Pause at the bottom for a 2-3 count and slowly rise back up to your starting position. Make sure that you push off the back of your heels as yo go up.
Repeat the exercise for 10-12 reps.
Kim Demonstrating a Traditional Squat
Once you are comfortable doing squats and have no balance issues, you can increase the resistance by adding weights.
Reduce the tension on your knees by pointing your toes out slightly.
Benefits of Squats with Weights
By adding dumbbells to your squat exercise, you will activate the muscles of the upper body, making it a full-body exercise. Squats with weights rely heavily on the core and back muscles to help you maintain good balance. This results in a tighter stomach, stronger lower back and many extra calories being burned.
Kim Demonstrating the Squat with Press
It is a good idea not to add weights until you are completely at ease doing squats. When you add weights, start with lighter ones and increase the weight as you build up your strength and balance skills.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.