05 Sep 2017
5 min read
Stronger and leaner lower body
Nearly every lower-body muscle is used when you squat, and this translates into a strong lower body. Rewards include lower-body stability, improved balance between your right and left sides, shapely thighs and a toned and rounder butt.
Strengthens the core
You want killer abs or at least a toned midriff but are not a huge fan of crunches? I totally get you. And what’s the best solution? Yes, squatting! A basic one works enough to do the job, and if you do weighted squats, you’ll have your core doing double-duty to maintain the correct posture.
Squatting strengthens various muscles and improves weak stabiliser muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. Moreover, the move involves a wide range of motions, which boost the muscles around your knees and hips. Your flexibility and balance will improve, and you can look forward to healthier joints. All of this ultimately means fewer injuries.
Improved athletic ability
Research has shown that incorporating this exercise in your regimen will help you (athletes and non-athletes alike) jump higher, run faster and also move more efficiently through your day-to-day activities.
How do I do it?
- After a quick warm up, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your toes turned slightly outward.
- Hold out your arms in front of you, bent at the elbows, with palms facing down.
- Pull your abs in tight, keep your weight on your heels and slowly lower yourself by bending at the knees. Stop when the tops of your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Do not lean forward from the waist.
- Return to standing position. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.
Basic and effective
Once you have mastered the basic and most effective way to simultaneously work on your glutes, thighs and core, challenge yourself and move on to other variations. Here are some examples.
- Barbell back and front squats (great for increasing core activity)
- Deep squatting (great for increased hips involvement and flexibility)
- Single leg squat (you can use a chair or wall for initial support)
- Squat jumps/jacks
- Basic squats with dumbbells
TRY: Half burpee to Squat
- Start in a crouching position with your knees between your arms and tucked under your chest.
- Thrust your legs out to get into a plank position.
- Bring your legs back in, and as you do so, land on your feet in a low squat.
- Repeat as desired.