Squatting Your Way to Your New Body
Do you want a new and improved physique? Try squats!
While squats may seem like simple exercises, they are actually compound movements that involve several joints and nearly every muscle group in your body. They also stimulate the production of hormones that help build muscle and burn fat.
Squats provide a number of health benefits including strengthening your entire musculoskeletal system, building strong bones, and constructing strong muscles simultaneously. Squatting exercises also increases your flexibility, improves coordination, balance, and endurance. All these benefits are not limited to increasing your strength in squats alone, but will help you improve in all other areas of your fitness.
Exercise of any kind triggers muscle anabolism, a metabolic process by which your body builds up muscle tissue. It also stimulates the production of anabolic hormones, particularly anabolic steroids, which stimulate protein synthesis, muscle growth, and insulin. Anabolic hormones help you gain muscle and lose fat. Using just one muscle group stimulates a small amount of anabolic hormones; exercising several muscle groups produces more of these muscle-building hormones.
Which Muscles Are Targeted
Several muscle groups are ignited while doing squats such as your core, lower back, hips, and calves. The main muscles they activate are the quad muscles and hamstrings, giving you a full fledged leg workout.
Because they trigger so many muscle groups, squats stimulate substantial production of anabolic hormones that help you lose fat and gain muscle.
How To Do Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Slowly lower your body by bending at your hips and focusing your weight on your heels. Sit down and sit back until your hips are at a 90-degree angle. Rise to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times.
As you squat, keep your knees in line with your toes by shifting your weight to your heels. Do not allow your knees to move forward ahead of your toes. Keep your heels on the ground and do not allow your knees to cave inwards.
To get the most out of your squats and avoid injury, use proper squat form when performing squats. Avoid rounding your back, as this will cause pain and, even worse, promote other negative long-term effects.
Too easy? Grab a barbell to increase the difficulty of squats. The increased intensity of barbell squats will also burn more calories. Include a variation to make it more fun- do a squat to bicep curl by holding a barbell in each hand and bending at the elbow while keeping your arms glued to your sides as you squat. For optimal benefit, hold off on using weights until you have perfected your proper squat form.
If you want to strengthen muscles without packing on muscle mass, incorporate body-weight squats without barbells or other weights into your fitness regime. For enhanced muscle building, try a jump lunge squat that adds a jump and a lunge before and after each squat. Again, perfect form is essential to gaining benefits from squats.
Don’t forget to have depth. You don’t have to be subjected to injury, but if you do not go low, you cannot activate the right muscles and receive optimal results when performing squats.
Squat depth varies with each person, so your squats may not be as deep as another person’s squat. Just go as low as you can while using proper form. Remember to keep your knees aligned with your hips and do not forget to breath.
To Be Bulky Or Not To Be Bulky
You can control the muscle-growth effects of your squats. If you want to gain muscle size in your legs, add a little more weight with each set. Whereas, some people tend to fear the “bulky” look so they stray away from muscle building exercises, but this can all be avoided by keeping squat repetitions high with light weight. You can also incorporate a fitness band, which will still provide an intense workout for an outcome of a leaner look. Add weight or repetitions according to your goals and comfort level.
Get Organized With Your Fitness
There are certain tools and technology to get you organized in knowing all benefits from performing these squat exercises. iFit is there to help you stay on track with personalized recommendations from your own personal trainer for your daily workouts, activity, nutrition, and sleep.
No more excuses! Squat your way to the body you’ve always wanted!