Alright ladies, we all want that perfect bum bum and nice toned legs and the secret is SQUATS. Squats are one of my favorite exercises and one of my strongest lifts – they are how I got started in powerlifting. I love barbell back squats but they are not the only squat exercise you can do. There are a variety of squat movements you can perform in the comfort of your own home. For example air squats, dumbbell squats, kettlebell squats and for a challenge there are pistol squats (one legged). Although squats are often regarded as a leg and glute exercise, they actually offer benefits throughout your entire body including your core.
- Squatting tones up the leg muscles. Squat exercises engage our leg muscles which include our quads and hamstrings. Adding squats in your daily or regular exercise routine will help avoid loose skin, especially when you’re in the early stage of weight loss.
- Squat exercises tones up the glute muscles. Squatting requires the activation of your glute muscles (your butt). If you do squats on a regular basis you will notice that your bum will become firm and tighter than what it used to be.
- Squatting is also a great way to develop abs. You will feel your abs contract when you engage your core muscles to do squats. As you get more efficient and and more weight or reps to the movement, you will notice a greater need to really contract your entire core and abs to maintain correct form.
- Squatting exercises will help burn more fat. By developing more muscle fibers in your lower body you will not only gain strength but you will increase your resting metabolism. Simply put, muscles burn fat. By simply adding a squat exercises into your routine you’ll be able to lose weight in a shorter period of time.
- Squat exercises improves day to day activities. By improving your squatting strength you will feel the benefits throughout you life, home or at work. Tasks such as picking up boxes when moving to another home, doing the laundry, carrying a child, even being at a job in which you are on your feet all day will be easier when you squat regularly.
- Squatting exercises promote strong bones, joints and muscles. Others may not agree with the “joints” part; but, when done properly squatting helps in developing stronger joints, together with the muscles and the bones. You’ll be able to jump higher, run faster and walk taller as you age. Squatting can also help improve joint pain and correct posture.
- Squatting will also help prevent injuries. Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues all of which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility and balance. Squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips as well.
- Did I mention it will help you get an Amazing Tush!?
So are you ready to add some squats to your workouts?
Here is a chart for a 30 day air squat challenge! I dare you to challenge yourself and I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
One final note before you begin. It is important that you wear the proper shoes when squatting. You want a pair of shoes that are flat and hard soled, nothing “squishy”. As you squat down you want your ankles and feet nice and stable, this helps with form and keeping your knees from caving inward. If you find that you have ankle or calf flexibility issues and you cannot squat all the way down, you might want to look into a pair of shoes with a raised heel as well as some stretches to improve your mobility.