It’s no secret that squats are the king of all exercises and provide a ton of benefits. This workout is one of the favorites among all bodybuilders, powerlifters, and other athletes. Along with the deadlift, there is probably no other exercise that has a greater impact and benefit on your body’s muscle-building, metabolism, and energy expenditure. Let’s examine 5 reasons and benefits why squats are truly the best workout on the planet.
#1 – Squats build muscle everywhere: When you do squats, you not only target every muscle of your legs but you also build up your upper body as well. Doing squats creates an anabolic hormonal environment throughout your entire body. You naturally release testosterone and growth hormone at higher rates. This is because the legs are both the strongest and biggest muscles in the body. Together they represent a massive hormonal stimulant reservoir. Doing something like bicep curls is not remotely the same due to the relatively small size of muscles worked with this exercise as opposed to the much bigger and stronger legs. It may seem counterintuitive, but training the legs not only develops the lower body, but provides the growth-promoting stimulus needed to repair from your arm workout as well. While training the arms can be effective at breaking down tissue locally, the hormonal stimulus of leg training, specifically when squatting, causes the upper body to respond with more growth. Squats cannot be avoided if you are trying to build a muscular and balanced physique.
#2 – Squats burn more fat: Squats are a more advanced compound exercise that takes more effort to perform than most other exercises. That means you are burning more calories since your body is working harder to perform the movement. You use so many more muscles at once during squats than when doing other exercises. Also, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Approximately 1 pound of muscle burns 7 to 10 calories per day, while 1 pound of fat burns only 2 to 3 calories. Since squats build more muscle throughout your whole body, you are building more muscle while burning more fat. The more muscle that you have, the more calories you will burn during training and at rest. There’s a reason why you can get abs by simply performing squats.
#3 – Squats help reduce injuries: Squats can strengthen your tendons, bones and ligaments in your lower body, helping to prevent and reduce injuries. Furthermore, many injuries are caused by weak stabilizer muscles, which squats can improve and make stronger.
#4 – Squats improve mobility and balance: Squats put a strong emphasis on your core and stabilizer muscles, providing more balance for the body. Squats improve communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which help prevent dangerous falls and bone fractures. Squats specifically target the muscles used in activities of daily living such as walking, lifting and climbing stairs.
#5 – Squats improve athletic performance: Since squats increase your power and explosion, they can improve your speed and vertical jump, which are important components for athletes. A partial squat position is the universal athletic position. This is because athletes of virtually every sport start in this semi-squat position. It’s important to train your body to perform squats to maximize athleticism.
There as so many different variations of squats you can choose from, such as back squats to front squats to box squats to Bulgarian split squats to goblet squats, among many other types. Squats are certainly the king of all exercises and provide a range of benefits not found in most other exercises. That’s why I highly recommend making it one of the fundamental exercises in your routine.