Do you squat? Do you squat with heavy weight? Do you even know what a squat is? Are you scared to attempt them with any sort of weight if you are a girl because you don’t want to get “all muscley?” Well I am here to tell you that you should answer YES to the first 3, and toss the last question out the window. First off LADIES….. SQUAT. If I could tell you to do ONE exercise only for the rest of your life this would be it, and I am not joking, at all. Here is why >>>>
- When you squat you engage much more than just your legs. It is a total body exercise, you not only engage all your major lower body muscle groups (glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves) but also your core, lower back, and upper body (when using weight). When working all of these muscles with one movement you are effectively working harder with less movement…. Umm win win? Yes I think so.
- When working all of those muscles you also trigger hormone release. Now girls do not get scared by what I am about to say…. You release testosterone, (yes ladies we do have some of this too, but not the amount men do so we WILL NOT get huuuuge like them) when this is released it triggers muscle growth. Did you know when you build muscle you burn more calories during the day when doing normal activities? With every 1 lb of muscle that is built you will burn anywhere from 50-70 more calories a day…. Just being you. Why wouldn’t you want that?
- You improve flexibility. With the total body movement and using a good amount of resistance you improve your range of motion in your hip area. This helps not only in the gym and other exercises but also in everyday life. You will be more efficient in doing daily tasks, whether it be picking up or chasing after your kids, or doing athletic training and performance exercises like jumping, or running.
- You look good naked. Yup this is just another positive outcome of squatting (heavy that is). You burn more calories (hello tight core and body), build some muscle in your lower body (hello bubble butt and toned legs), and are more flexible (sorry mom).
So bottom line, why would you NOT want to be participating in this exercise frequently?!? If you have never attempted a squat before here are a few pointers:
– Sit back in your heals, do NOT lean forward on your toes
- If you have trouble sitting back practice sitting back onto a bench first to get a feel for the right form.
– Make sure to keep knees from going over ankles to prevent knee pain and injury
– Increase weight gradually
- Start with no weight to warm up, then gradually add what you are comfortable with. Good rule of thumb is to choose a weight that you can complete all desired number of reps with but the last few reps are challenging. Once you can complete desired amount with ease, increase weight. If doing weekly it should be every couple of weeks.
- Keep your chest up at all times
- Keep core tight during entire motion
Now get to it! You can thank me later 😉