Squats are one exercise that should always be part of your weekly, if not daily workouts. They are a fat-burning, muscle-building, balance-bettering and equipment-free exercise. If you want significant and fast results, a bum that is lifted, legs that are toned and a core that is tight – then squatting is without fail your number 1 place to start. For the girls out there worried about getting huge manly legs from squatting, please do not fear! Unless you are following a strict training regime and loading up your squats with huge weights and most likely supplements, all you’re going to see is the ultimate Brazilian lifted butt and beautifully toned legs!
And for my handsome male friends, you may think you’re doing a great job with your big arms and strong backs but we love a pert bottom just as much as you do…so get squatting!
So Why are Squats such a Godsend?
1) Squats target far more than just legs:
Absolutely you are going to start to see a change in the definition and tone of your legs, across all muscles including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. But squats work many more muscles than just that; they also target your bum, core and back muscles, lifting your behind and tightening up the abs.
Once you have strengthened the muscles and are ready to develop the exercise you can then increase the intensity of the entire body workout using dumbbells for your arms and shoulders, and to increase the load of the squat.
2) They BURN your fat!
Building muscle is actually one of the most effective forms of fat-burning out there and also the most satisfying! You can be sitting on the sofa burning MORE calories then you did 2 weeks ago sitting doing exactly the same thing – all because of your increase in muscle. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day!
Here’s why: Your body requires a certain number of calories per day to keep yourself functioning. When you increase the amount of muscle you have in your body, you also increase the amount of calories you require to do this. Therefore your body will actually burn more calories per day simply because of your increased muscle mass.
3) Squats put your body into an Anabolic state.
What does this mean? In simple terms it is a muscle building state. To be a little more scientific, an anabolic state is when your muscle tissues utilise energy for growth and maintenance. The energy comes from nutrients extracted from the food sources you consume (i.e. proteins, carbs, etc). The reason squats put your body into the muscle-building state is because of the intensity of the exercise, you are effectively putting your muscles under ‘stress’ which causes the activation of an anabolic state.
A pert bum and defined legs aren’t going to come unless you build the muscles so creating this state is essential.
4) Improved Flexibility
Squats move your body through a full range of motion so not only are you building strength, you’re increasing flexibility too. They do this by improving the range of motion in the ankles and hips.
It is also a functional exercise which is an exercise that you perform in your every day life such a picking up a pen or tying up your shoes. All of these type of exercises should be done with a squatting motion, not bending from the hips therefore when you build up these muscles, you naturally move more fluidly through these every-day movements preventing back injuries and strain.
5) Squats get things moving!
It may not be the most delightful topic but it’s true and important! Squats aid in the removal of waste from your body by getting everything flowing and will therefore increase your more regular bowl movements.
6) You can do them anywhere
Squats, like any exercise, will have a natural progression with increased loads to further strengthen your muscles. However, you can do squats and many variations of squats without any equipment or accessories that will be hugely effective in getting you toned with firm legs and an amazing round strong bum. There are no excuses!
7) And most popularly
It LIFTS your bum! We all see the girls with their bottoms starting half way up their back and think HOW is that possible! Well through hard work and the right exercises yes, but I can guarantee you squats is a vital part of their leg and bum workouts!
You can take a look at my 30 minute HIT stair workout which targets your bum and legs, and uses different variations of squats here. Otherwise, watch videos online for the right squatting technique as it is often done incorrectly and can do more damage than good, which we don’t want! You’ll learn to love them I promise!