Whether you are a fitness freak or a beginner in the world of exercise trying to figure it out all by yourself, you need to try the Squat exercise at least once! And we can ensure that you will fall in love with this viral workout! Regardless of whether you want to build endurance or lose weight, a squat exercise can make everything seem very easy!
And before you start raising a finger at us, let us tell you that squats do work! They are in nowadays for a reason not only to tone up your physique but also to improve your mental state-which is always a plus for fitness enthusiasts!
On any given day, you can always see someone in the gym doing the very popular squats! And if your gym instructor is not training you to do the same, it’s time for you to turn around and run!!
Well, what are squats in the first place? Where do they work the most? Why are they gaining everyone’s attention in recent times?
Squats – A Powerful Form Of Exercise To Strengthen Your Muscle Groups
While the popularity of squats seems to increase day by day, many still have no idea what it is in the first place! To make everything very easy for you, let us think of a situation – Do you remember how babies try to learn the art of walking? Yes, you guessed it right! That is the very basic form of squat-which also surprisingly, we have done during our entire childhood! As a kid, it was the first thing we learned. But still, when we are into adulthood, the same things seem too overwhelming to go for!
While there is a lot to unbox when it comes to the perfect definition of squats, we can always ease up things for our comfort! To put it in simple words- squats are a form of exercise which primarily focuses on muscle strengthening, promoting core body strength, and toning our physique amongst others! It is a strength training exercise in which the performer lowers his/her hips until they remain parallel to the ground and then pushes himself/herself back up to reach the initial position.
While some may find it irrelevant for beginners, in reality, squats are for all! They not only benefit the athletes in building strong muscles but also aid in the normal growth and development of our body.
How Does Having A Proper Squat Routine Benefit Us?
Just like any other exercise, squats can be done by everyone easily. With a little bit of practice, you are ready to rock your workout routine with squats. But, how does having a proper squat routine benefit us?
1. Strengthens Muscles And Lower Body
If you are looking for that one perfect exercise to tone up and strengthen your body and muscles, you should give squats a try! Research points out the fact that squats generally work on the following muscle groups:--core, abductors, adductors, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads. Thus, when you perform a squat following proper instructions, the muscles of your lower body are involved in the overall game, which ultimately strengthens them.
2. Aid In Weight Loss
If you are on the lookout for that perfect exercise to help you burn excess calories, with minimal Equipment, it’s time to make squats your best friend! According to research, while doing squats, our different muscle groups get involved in the same activity which stimulates the release of the anabolic hormone. And as the name suggests, this hormone burns fats and calories in our body, which ultimately boosts healthy weight.
3. Reduced Risks Of Injury
While squats have an essential role in the strengthening of core muscle groups, they also have a positive effect on reducing risks of injury. According to different studies, squats involve different muscles of our body, alongside tendons, bones, and ligaments. Performing squats regularly, therefore, strengthens our ankles and knees. And when our knees and ankles are strong, we are likely to be less susceptible to ankle and knee injury!
4. Improves Posture
In recent times, various diseases and disorders owing to poor postures can be diagnosed. Sitting for long hours before the screen, poor sitting position coupled with little to no exercise ultimately adds up to poor posture. While there is no particular remedy to improve your posture, one can practice squats with proper form to improve themselves! Since a squat involves lower body functioning and strengthening, doing a proper squat regularly can have positive effects on improved posture. And when you have good posture, you have lfewer chancesof body discomfort and pain!
5. Flexibility And Mobility Come Free With Squats
Flexibility and mobility come free with squats! As we grow and age, our muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose their strength which ultimately reduces our flexibility! But, with a proper and regular squat routine, you can now bounce back to normal movement! Squats slow down the process of aging in tendons and ligaments, which ultimately helps us to remain flexible and strong till the very last!
Types Of Squat Workouts To Try This Year
Everyone is now in their “IT Girl” era! The IT girl era translates to a healthy lifestyle, proper workouts, a happy state of mind, and above all, a holistic approach towards life! But, life happens. Regular work pressure and time constraints do not always allow us to have a proper workout routine ourselves.
But, you can always find ways to live a fulfilling and healthy life. If you are also on the lookout for easy-peasy exercises without much drama, you have come to the right place. We have compiled here a list of different types of squat workouts and how-to's for you to try this year and feel more confident in yourself!
1. Bodyweight Squat
If your soul speaks less of drama and more of action, body-weight squats are the perfect vibe for you! As the name suggests, this very basic workout needs no fancy gym Equipment but only your body weight. Perfect for beginners, the body weight squat has recently risen to the top of the squat list, and we cannot stress enough its health benefits.
How to Do Bodyweight Squat
- To start with, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your toes slightly outward keeping your arms at your sides. Stand straight, with chest outward and steady.
- To initiate the movement, bend your knees towards the ground following a half-seating position. Make sure to keep your thighs and knees parallel to the ground.
- While you are into the previous step, expand your arms outwards till they reach your chest height.
- Finally, exhale your breath and push yourself to the initial position with your legs straight and chest steady. Don’t forget to push back your arms to the sidewise position.
So, why do bodyweight squats?
While many think they are not as demanding as deadlifts, let us tell you that there are a plethora of benefits for this basic lower-body workout. Performing a bodyweight squat in proper form involves our core muscles, along with tendons, ligaments, bones, etc. Thus, when your muscles and tendons are active, you feel less pain while doing regular activities such as running.
2. Barbell Squats
While barbell squatting is crowned as the King of Squats and is generally advised for the pros in this field, you can always master this leg workout in your home with practice!
How To Do Barbell Squats
- To begin with, adjust your barbell according to your height in the squat rack.
- In the next step, move by pushing yourself under the barbell and grabbing the equipment with your hands. (Stretch your hands on both sides of the barbell for a better grip). Make sure that the equipment stays on your muscle while you are adjusting yourself to the whole process.
- Further, unrack the barbell and move in a backward position until you have a few inches of the gap from the rack!
- Begin the exercise by standing shoulder width apart with your feet wider than your body. Bend your knees and keep your neck erect and steady.
- Now evenly distribute the weight in your whole body keeping a proper balance.
- Rotate your shoulders outward and follow up by engaging your core muscles.
- Finally, begin your downward movement by bending your heels and ankles. Stay in this position for a few seconds.
- Now begin to stand up by keeping your chest high and steady. As you reach the end of the session, squeeze your muscles to relieve any pain.
Now the question is why such an advanced workout?
To put it straight, barbell squats involve the glutes and quadriceps, which ultimately keep us flexible and strengthen our lower body. Additionally, quads and hamstrings are also involved in this workout. Thus, one can understand that performing barbell squats not only strengthens our body but also boosts endurance and crushes unnecessary calories.
3. Kettlebell Squat
Bored with the basic squat routine? Here is a little bit of something to spice it up for your next gym session. Add a kettlebell to your regular squat and you are ready for the thrill! But, if you are a novice in this field, we would suggest you start with lighter Equipment to avoid overwhelming yourself with everything at a time!
How To Do Kettlebell Squat
- Stand yourself with the kettlebell on the ground. Hold the equipment close to your chest with your elbows. Stand shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent.
- To follow up, distribute the weight throughout your body while engaging your core muscles.
- To begin with this exercise, bend yourself downward by keeping the kettlebell in the same position as the initial. Pushing yourself to the downward position should involve bending of knees, hips and ankles.
- Keep your legs parallel to the ground and maintain this position for a few seconds.
- Move by pushing yourself to the upward position. Remember to keep your chest high and glutes squeezed to reap the maximum benefits.
What are the benefits of kettlebell squats?
Unlike the previous squats which only involve a specific muscle group, the kettlebell squat hits differently. This advanced-level strength training involves every muscle group of our body, hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, etc. Thus, performing a kettlebell squat not only strengthens our joints and lower body muscles but also promotes cardiovascular health and prevents certain diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
4. Split Squat
If the above options do not interest you, you can always try the split squat to enhance your overall body strength and flexibility. This compound leg workout works every muscle type in your body, including hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. If you are new to the game of squats, start by introducing the split squat in your routine and then take your exercise game to a notch higher!
How To Do Split Squat
- To begin with, stand with your front foot 2-4 feet in front of your back foot. Now, raise the back heel to distribute the weight evenly throughout the toes. Now, grip the ground with your front foot to balance your position.
- Square your hips with your legs shoulder-width apart and chest-high. Follow up by bending your knees with your shoulder above your hips.
- Further, place your hands on your hips. Alternatively, you can work with dumbbells by your sides for a more intense workout session.
- Move to the downward position by bending your knees and ankles. At this point engage your core and bend your back knee towards the floor.
- Keep pushing yourself to the ground until your thighs come in parallel to the ground. Maintain this position for a few seconds.
- Now, start doing the upward movement by pushing your front foot to the ground. It is important to keep your chest high and erect while attempting the upward movement.
- Repeat the steps.
Why split squats over others?
The report hints at the fact that when it comes to lower body strengthening, split squats show better results compared to the basic regular squat. A perfect recipe for muscle growth, you should not sleep on this leg workout this year.
5. Sumo Squats
When it comes to sumo squats, it caters to it all which a regular squat fails! In addition to regular core muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings, sumo squats work small muscles to sculpt and shape our body. Perfect for reducing knee and ankle injuries, this set of workouts is a must-try for people who wish for a toned-up physique!
How To Do Sumo Squats
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulder width. Keep your toes pointed outside for a better form.
- Involve your core and keep your chest high for maximum benefit. Sink on your hips until your thighs are in a parallel position to the ground level. Maintain this position for a few seconds.
- You can sink as your comfort. In the words of experts, depth depends on the individual and thus you can go down according to how you feel!
- To complete one repetition, exhale and push your feet forward to move to the initial position.
Sumo squats are the perfect workout to add to your routine to get that perfect IT girl physique! Your adductors, glutes, and quads will surely thank you for this! Furthermore, if you are on the lookout for an exercise to rehab your injury, don’t forget to try the sumo squat for faster healing.
Common Mistakes To Avoid While Performing Lower Body Squat Workout
While squats are the first thing we learn to do in our childhood, the same exercise seems a lot more overwhelming when we reach adulthood. Is my form correct? Am I going down too far? Shall I add more weight? What safety precautions shall I follow to avoid injury and health risks?
All these questions hit us first when thinking of going for a squat! To clarify things better for you, we have reviewed a few common mistakes to avoid while doing an at-home squat. Read more.
1. Heels Of Foot Above The Ground
While performing a squat, your feet should always touch the ground. Throughout your workout, you move your legs either forward or backward. But, don’t let your heels move upward. You will not want all your weight to accumulate all at once on your heel!
2. Keep Your Back Straight
This is one of the most common mistakes beginners make while on their squat routine. If not checked in time, it can lead to serious leg and lower back injuries. To avoid risks, make sure to keep your back straight and chest high throughout your squat exercise.
3. Keep Your Gaze Straight
Another common mistake to avoid is to move your gaze up or down. It is important to maintain your gaze straight to avoid injuries to the neck. Your neck should always be tucked in!
4. Stop Immediately If You Find It Discomforting
Squats are generally performed to work your lower body muscles and tendons, alongside ligaments and bones. While doing squats, you should feel the energy in your core muscles. You should feel them working and active! But, stop the exercise immediately if you feel any pain and discomfort.
It is important to consult with your doctor in case of serious consequences. It is also advised to consult a trainer, in the beginning, to perform under guidance. A trainer will ensure that you are performing the exercise properly, which will decrease your chances of getting injured!
Squats are considered one of the best forms of exercise given their myriad of health benefits to the human body. Performing squats regularly moves all your muscles and tendons which not only strengthens your body but also improves your endurance level. There are a lot of variations to try – choose what feels right and suits you best!