With our 30 Day squat Challenge approaching, and since they are one of our favourite exercises, we thought we’d give you a little insight into why squats are such an important exercise to incorporate into our workouts:
To increase strength across the whole body
Squats are amazing not only for increasing leg strength, but also improving strength across the whole body, especially if we do them weighted. Performing squats regularly means we will benefit from stronger, tighter abdominals and improved core stability, stronger ligaments and bones, so we will be less likely to develop diseases such as osteoporosis later on in life.
Prevent and help lower back and knee pain
Squats build strength in one of the largest muscles groups, the “glutes”. A strong glutteal group will build a strong base for the pelvic girdle, therefore relieving pressure on the lower back. In addition, glutes help to stabilise the hip joint and can therefore help prevent knee injuries. Squats are also great at improving mobility within our bodies. Good mobility can help and prevent lower back pain, and pain within our knees and ankles. This sort of mobility is critical to our health as we get older and can help prevent all sorts of injury.
To improve functional movement
Squats are a natural movement which we constantly perform in our everyday life – picking things up from the floor, getting up from a chair, getting in and out of a car etc. Practising squats in our workout routines means that these daily movements will become easier and more effective so we are less likely to suffer injury while doing them. Strong glutes and legs muscles means our posture is improved, our ability to walk becomes more efficient, and we are able to perform heavy lifting with reduced risk of injury.
Benefit to your sports performance
Strengthening our legs and bodies by adding squats into our workouts can help improve our running speed (chasing after a 3 year old anyone?), our jumping height and distance, as well as our flexibility and balance.
Squats increase your metabolism
Working so many muscles in the body (including some of the biggest muscle groups – the glutes and quads) and increasing our muscle mass, means that in turn our metabolism increases: more muscle = better metabolism, therefore you will burning more calories and fat throughout the whole day, even when in a resting state! What’s not to love?
And finally – purely for aesthetics
Pancake butt anyone? No, thought not! Performing squats helps to lift our butts and make our glutes rounder and perkier – who doesn’t want that? Rounder glutes give a better posture and can also make the tummy appear flatter.
So, get ready for the 30 Day Squat Challenge – follow us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates.