Squats are one of the most popular and discussed fitness movements and yet many people still perform them incorrectly.
There are many exercises that you can do in such a way as to succeed in reaching an excellent physical shape, to improve your muscle tone, and to feel better, both inside and outside. None of these, however, offer the impeccable benefits that squat offers.
Below is the complete guide that contains all the things you should know about the squat so that you get the most benefits from the best exercise in the world for the whole body: 12 benefits, muscles worked, proper form, 10 tips, 6 mistakes, 9 variations.
The Squat – the “Queen” of all exercises
Rightly, the squat is considered the “queen” of all exercises. If you want to do squats, then you have to do them correctly. Otherwise, you could get injured and slow down on your way to your goals.
What muscles does the squat involve?
Photo Source: Weight Training Guide
In the case of a standard squat with your body weight, you will involve the following muscles:
• The femoral biceps
The abdomen, the lumbar part, the ankles, or the calves have a supporting role in the exercise of the squat. This, so that you know that you have to train all your muscle groups, to have the best possible posture and to perform the exercises as correctly as possible.
How often should you do them?
Photo Source: Onlymyhealth
Given that the muscles need to relax, it is good to let each area recover for a few days. I do not advise you to squat daily or exaggerate with training in a single group, but to be as balanced as possible and to train with your head, so twice a week it will suffice.
How many reps do you have to do depending on the goal?
Photo Source: Syatt Fitness (Pinterest)
• For strength: 2-5 reps / set.
• For muscle mass: 6-8 reps / set.
• For muscle density: 8-10 reps / set.
• For muscle shape and tone: 10-12 reps / set.
• For definition and weight loss: 12-20 reps / set.
Do they also work the abs?
Yes, definitely! The abdomen is also involved when we do them, so it will work.
Do they help you lose weight?
Yes, they help you lose weight, because being one of the most demanding exercises, you need more effort to perform them, so you will burn calories during training.
As muscle mass develops in that area, the body will burn even more calories, so losing weight is long-term.
Are they cardio?
They can be both cardio and weight training for strength/toning/muscle gain. If they are done with weights, they do not fall into the category of cardio exercises, unless they are done by jumping or heart-moving exercises.
Do they affect the back?
Properly made they reduce back pain and provides better posture and better body balance.
The 12 most important benefits:
Photo Source: Pinterest
You will be surprised by the wide range of amazing benefits that you will enjoy with their help. Here are the 12 most important:
1. Increase strength
2. Develop muscle mass.
4. Improve fitness.
5. Increase endurance
6. Strengthen bones and joints.
7. Improve mobility.
8. Become more disciplined.
9. Theys support the correct posture of the body.
10. Support the functions of the lungs and heart.
11. Prevent injuries.
12. Improve movement speed.
6 Mistakes to avoid when doing this type of exercise:
Photo Source: YouTube
1. Lift the heels off the ground
2. Incorrect positioning of the weight on the back
3. Looking up too high
4. Uncoordinated breathing
5. Legs close together
6. Bringing the knees forward and bending.
As with other exercises, also with squats, there are a few rules you should follow.
Remember that the most important thing is to learn and understand the correct technique, and then experience the variations that your squats offer you.
Instructions for their correct execution: 10 tips
Photo Source: Verywell Fit
2. Body posture – keep your feet at shoulder level with stable heels on the ground. Remember, do not lift your heels off the ground.
3. The pelvis – keep the pelvis down and avoid leaving the torso in front. During squatting, move the pelvis back and down.
4. Heels – when performing them, all the weight should be felt in the heel and not in the fingertips. My advice: if you detach your heels off the ground, then either your muscles are tense or your calf muscles are shortened. In this case, it would be good to give more time to warm up or stretching.
5. Thighs – During the squat, lower yourself below the point where your thighs are parallel or below the floor.
6. Knees – do not let your knees fall in front. Do not let the knees cross the line of the fingers, so you would overload the knee joints.
7. Back – The back should be straight in a neutral position from head to back. Do not bend your back. My advice: If you bend more when descending, the lower part of the spine is probably poorly developed. Be careful in both flexion and extension. When doing squats the back must be straight. Therefore, you will be sure that you have performed the squats correctly.
8. Breathing – when lowering, inhale, hold your breath and when lifting, exhale
9. Abdomen – during squat, involve the abdominal muscles
10. Depth – Try to make itt as deep as possible so that the hip joint is at the same level as the knee joint. Of course, if you are a beginner, it is good to have a partner by your side to tell you if you have bent too much or have an incorrect leg position.
There are many variations, finding one suitable for everyone, regardless of age, sex, and physical condition is easy.
Below you will find 9 of the best variations, which will help you maximize your training.
1. Bulgarian Split Squat
2. Sumo Squats
3. Jump Squat
4. Wall Sit
5. Squat with Lateral Lifting
6. One Leg Squat (Pistol Squat)
7. Fold Squat
8. Skater Squat
9. Cossack Squat.
Men and women of all ages and with all possible fitness-related purposes can enjoy the many benefits of adding squats to their training schemes.
If you are looking for a way to build more muscle mass and get the body you want, there is no better way to do it than to use squats!
The squat is an exercise for the whole body that anyone can master to perfection with some effort.
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