I base my training around three key exercises: the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. These are the three exercises that form the basis of a naturally strong and ripped body.
A lot of people complain that whatever they do in the gym, they fail to get bigger and stronger. I then ask them if they do they focus on the squat, deadlift and bench press? Usually they will say no.
Neglecting these exercises was the reason I struggled to gain muscle for years. Don't make this mistake. Of course these exercises have their variants, which are equally as good. For example the parallel bar dip or incline press are fine variants of the bench press. They key here is to focus on compound exercises as the basis of your training.
So today I wanted to focus on the squat and give ten very good reasons why you should include them in your routine.
So lets get to it...
1. Squats Build Muscle Everywhere
Squats do not just build muscle in the legs, they actually help building muscle all over your body by creating an anabolic environment in the whole body. The reason for this is that there is a large amount of muscle mass stimulated including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, calves and lower back. The intensity of the exercise stimulates the release of growth hormone which builds muscle over the whole body and also stimulates fat loss.
2. Squats Burn Calories
Because squats help you build muscle, as you increase muscle over your whole body you get more efficient in burning calories in general, even at rest. As you get stronger in the squat, you will need to add more weight to that bar. This just accentuates the whole process and your body will burn calories even faster.
3. Squats Help Improve Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the three pillars of fitness and working on your flexibility to be part of any well rounded training plan. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments become less pliable as we age so it is important to counteract this. Contrary to popular belief doing full range squats in good form on a regular basis involves stretching and bending of all the lower body muscles and tendons.
4. Squats Help With Mobility And Balance
Strong legs are essential for staying mobile as you get older, and that's where squats come in. Not only do they develop leg strength, they also train the core stabiliser muscles. These muscles help you to maintain balance and improving the communication between your brain and your muscles.
5. Squats Strengthen The Heart And Lungs
For anyone that has performed squats to failure they will have noticed the tremendous cardiovascular training involved. Squats increase lung capacity and strengthen the cardiac muscles.
6. Squats Help Prevent Injuries
Most athletic injuries occur as a result of weak and poorly developed ligaments, connective tissues and stabilizer muscles. Squats help to strengthen these supportive tissues which will protect against general wear and tear injuries. Of course the other main reason people injure themselves are training in bad form and using too much weight so this will always be a factor no matter how strong the connective tissues.
7. Squats Improve And Maintain The Joints
Squatting engages the hips, knees and ankles and this not only improves the strength of your muscles but also improves joint health.
8. Squatting Strengthens The Bones
When you squat on a regular basis your bones become more dense. This has very obvious benefits for us as we age as it will prevent weakness and injuries arising from low bone density.
9. Squatting Improves Posture
With improved core and leg strength, your posture improves by default. This is because posture is influenced by the muscles in the front back, which work together. Make sure you always work on your mobilization together with your squat training.
10. Squats Improve Digestion And Circulation
One of the most overlooked benefits to squatting is the effect it has on circulation and digestion. The speed in which fluids travel through your body are improved when exercising your lower body muscles which allows more oxygen and nutrients to travel around the body.
I hope this article has urged you to include squats in your training routine, they really are one of the best exercises in the universe. When I started to include them in my own routine I noticed marked improvements in all areas especially fat loss and muscle building.
I have made it my mission to include as much genuine information for free on this site to help people with their training. If you feel you need some extra guidance and clarity why not get in touch for a free phone consultation and we can take it from there.