Here’s Why You Should Squat Consistently

Alyssa Atkinson

It’s a more powerful lift than you might think.

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When I first began a very structured weight lifting routine my freshman year of college, my coach placed a lot of emphasis on a few key exercises, one of which was the squat.

I was weak and inexperienced, and I struggled to lift more than the 45 pound bar with proper form. I’ll admit that I was a little embarrassed, but I accepted where I was at. After all, everyone has to start somewhere.

Every single day that I stepped foot in the weight room, I worked hard to get stronger. By the end of the year, I was able to squat double the weight that I started with, and my race times improved immensely.

However, the potential boost in athletic performance isn’t the only reason you should include squats in your exercise routine. In fact, when you squat regularly with correct form, there are a whole slew of benefits to be gained.The following are some of the top ones.

Many daily tasks stem from a simple squat.

You might think that squats aren’t an important exercise to perform unless you’re a competitive athlete. That’s actually not true, because when you do squats, you transition from a sitting to standing position repeatedly, which is a common movement that you engage in many times each day.

According to Women’s Health:

“Any time you go from sitting to standing and back down again, you’re doing a squat. So the more you practice the move, the stronger you get — and that makes the movement easier each time. So many actions can stem from the movements of a squat, from picking up your toddler to loading boxes into the house after a delivery.”

Thus, when you add squats to your workout routine, you will only make your daily life easier. You’ll be more accustomed to the sitting to standing motion, you’ll be more efficient when you reach for heavy objects, and you will be less likely to get injured in the process.

You work the following muscles.

Most people recognize that the squat strengthens the glutes, but that’s not the only area that receives a boost.

NASM-certified personal trainer Katrina Pilkington states that:

“When you do a proper squat, you strengthen a ton of muscles in your legs. As you lower down, you’re primarily working the hamstrings and when you stand up, you’re targeting both the glutes and the quadriceps.”

When I first started to lift weights, I didn’t know which exercises targeted which muscle groups, and I certainly didn’t recognize that certain lifts were powerful enough to strengthen a number of key muscle groups.

Now, I have enough knowledge and experience to understand how beneficial lifts like weighted squats truly can be when done consistently with proper form.

Your core receives a boost.

While it may seem like the only way you can work your core is by performing targeted exercises like planks, that’s actually not the case. You can utilize highly effective lifts, such as squats, to target your core as well. Plus, they strengthen other muscle groups, which makes them even more efficient than many ab exercises that target only one specific group/area

In fact, Women’s Best states:

“If you do them right, squats actually help contract the core, namely the abdominal area. Furthermore, studies have concluded that these contractions are more intense than the traditional crunch exercise. So if you want stronger, tighter abs, be sure to squat.”

I personally have noticed improvements in core strength as a result of doing weighted squats, the benchpress, and other key lifts that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Even though they don’t directly target the core, they do a phenomenal job of strengthening it.

Therefore, a squat could do a whole lot more for you than endless crunches.Next time you really want to work on your core, try some weighted squats.

Your bones benefit from squats.

It’s universally understood that when you lift weights, you build muscle. But there’s also a lesser known benefit that results when you build strong muscles — greater bone support.

Essentially, through increasing lean muscle mass, you create greater bone support. It just so happens that some of the largest bones in your body are located around the glutes.

According to NASM-certified personal trainer Katrina Pilkington,

“Regular strength training helps increase lean muscle mass and creates support for our bones…The femur — your thigh bone — is the largest bone in the body and holds onto the largest muscles in the body — a.k.a. the glutes.”

Therefore, when you lift weights, you create strength and muscle mass that provides extra support and protection for your bones. The squat exercise will help you target and build up some of the largest ones, like the thigh bone.

Here’s how to squat with proper form.

While squats are an incredible weight lifting exercise that you can benefit immensely from, you have to do them with proper form to avoid injury and reap all the rewards that squats have to offer.

Women’s Health states that you should adhere to the following when you squat:

  • Point your feet forward or outward just a hare
  • Your hips should move down and back
  • Your knees should align over your second and third toe
  • The knees should stay behind your toes
  • The knees should not cave in towards each other
  • Keep your chest open, spine neutral, and shoulders back

Final Thoughts

If you lift weights correctly (perform targeted exercises with proper form and intention), you will see real results and reduce your risk of injury. The squat is one of the most powerful lifts that you can easily add to your routine.

When I finally focused in the weight room and consistently did key exercises such as squats, I developed more power, explosiveness, and muscle strength overall. This ultimately helped me accomplish more of my running goals.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or an avid exerciser, you can benefit immensely from performing squats regularly. Not only will you strengthen your legs, but also many other muscle groups, such as your core. As a result, you’ll be stronger, healthier, and fitter overall.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC
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