The “squat” is a full body compound exercise. Many muscles work at the same time, not just your legs. Your upper-back, shoulders and arms balance the bar on your back, whilst your legs and gluten drive the exercise. It works more muscles, with heavier weight, than more popular exercises like the bench press. It’s therefore more effective to gain overall strength and muscle quickly. This is why the squat can be described as the king of all exercises.
CORRECT FORM/ TECHNIQUE:
1. Squat by bending at your hips and knees whilst the bar rests on your upper-back
2. Squat down until your hips are below your knees. Push your knees out so they’re inline with your feet. Keep your knees out and lower back neutral- don’t let it round.
3. Keep your abs and lower back muscles “on” so as to stabilise your trunk while your legs move
4. Then push back up, locking your hips and knees at the top.
1. Gain Strength.
With a barbell or weight on your back, your muscles must generate force against gravity to control the bar on the way down and squat it back up again.
2. Build Muscle.
Squats work heaps of muscles.Your legs bend, your core stays tight and your upper-body supports the bar. All these muscles work at the same time to balance and squat the weight. The heavier you squat, the stronger and bigger your muscles become and also delays the loss of lean muscle mass.
3. Burn Fat.
You lose fat when your body burns more energy than you eat. Your muscles burn energy to lift weight. Squats burn more energy than any other exercise because they work more muscles and with heavier weights. Squatting also increase your metabolism for hours post workout. When you combine this with proper nutrition, squats will help you burn fat and improve muscle tone not just on your legs but core too!
4. Increase Fitness.
Squats strengthen your muscles, including your heart. It makes it more efficient because any activity takes less effort which, over time will decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. This in turn increases your cardiovascular fitness.
5. Increase Endurance.
Squats strengthen your legs. Contrary to what you may think, squats won’t make you slow and bulky. You will gain muscle mass when you squat heavy, but you’ll never gain enough to slow you down.
6. Strengthen Bones.
Squats increase the density of your bones. They make them stronger and less likely to break. This protects you against falls and osteoporosis.
7. Strengthen Joints.
Squats strengthen the muscles around your knee joints, hip joints, ankle joints, spine and so on. It also strengthens your tendons and connective tissues. This creates support for your joints and spine and protects them against injuries. The key is to squat with proper form so you strengthen your joints instead of stressing them.
8. Improve Balance.
Squats train you to balance the bar while your body moves. This improves your balance and coordination. Squat free weights so your balance improves.
9. Build Discipline.
Squats are hard. Doing hard things, even when you don’t feel like it, trains your mind! This builds discipline and mental fortitude which is crucial to get results in the gym. It also build discipline that transfers in other areas of your life. It helps you sticking to good nutrition habits, going to bed on time, doing hard work etc.
10. And a lot more.
Lifting weights in general lowers cholesterol, improves glucose metabolism, improves insulin response and so on.