Often called the “king of all exercises,” squats are a relatively easy movement men should practice each day. No other exercise works your entire body like a squat. Whether you’re trying to gain muscle or slim down, squats should be an integral part of your training repertoire. The beauty of squats is they require no equipment and can be done just about anywhere. Squats may be thought of as an exercise for the legs but it actually benefits the entire body including the all-important core muscles deep within the abdomen.
Many of us spend hours a day sitting which takes a toll on our body. It can severely diminish leg strength, joint support, good posture and blood circulation within the lower extremities. But performing squats is one move most of us can do that can greatly boost our overall fitness with noticeable results fast.
This functional exercise can have a strong impact affecting your ability to live a full, healthy life. Little things like getting up from a chair to squatting down to pick something off the floor require squat strength.
Why squats are such an important exercise
1. Makes daily activities easier
Squats, plain and simple, build muscle. More muscle means our body moves more efficiently making daily tasks of lifting or moving things so much easier. As we age, strong legs are a must for good mobility. In addition to promoting mobility, performing squats also promotes stability and balance protecting us from easily falling standing on a chair or playing with a rambunctious dog. Especially as we get older, performing squats daily are crucial to maintaining muscle health keeping us independent.
2. Burns fat
The muscle that is built from regularly performing squats turns you into a more efficient fat-burner resulting in using up more calories. For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. This adds up to many more calories burned each day helping to keep you at a healthier body weight.
3. Tones buttocks, abs and legs
Sitting into a squat works a lot of different muscles. The very act of squatting will tone and tighten your butt, abdomen and the legs, particularly the quadriceps and hamstrings. Hold a pair of 5-8 pound hand weights while performing squat and you’ll see even better results. Toned muscles help in the regulation of glucose and fat metabolism along with insulin sensitivity. This protects us from obesity, diabetes and heart disease
4. Improves mobility in hips and ankles
Preforming squats uses your body weight which is a great way to increase the range of motion in hips and ankles. When your hips and ankles have good range of motion, this helps reduce lower back and knee pain. Squats also are a safe and effective way to improve mobility without taxing the joints.
5. Prevents injuries
Whether you’re an athlete or not most athletic-type injuries involve having weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. Squats can help prevent injury by improving flexibility and balance as it can improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips.
Squats may be viewed as being harmful to the knees but research has shown that when done properly, squats actually improve knee stability and strengthen the surrounding connective tissue.
6. Works your core
Planks are often the go-to for activating your core but squats are actually more effective for being beneficial for core strength. That’s why if you want that ripped, chiseled ab look, do more squats. When paired with a healthy diet, squats will be a major player in getting the body you want. From working the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and erector spinae, squats work hard helping you achieve your fitness goals.
How to properly perform a squat
Performing a squat may look easy and it relatively is, but it is very important to have proper form. If you’re not sure of the right way to do one, here is a link showing you proper form to avoid common mistakes people often make when performing a squat.
In the meantime, make squats a must-do movement each day to get the body you want and deserve.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.