The Squat – one of the mightiest and most effective exercises there is. What makes it so effective is that even under light load, it incorporates many muscles in the body, and becoming strong in this pattern can have great benefits in our everyday lives. The functionality of the squat goes way beyond the gym setting – if you don’t think so, ask yourself: when was the last time you went to the toilet without squatting? when was the last time you got into your car without squatting? So even if you think squatting isn’t for you, or perhaps you’ve been injured in the past and have resolved to stay away from squatting, you must squat! You have no choice really!
Now I’m certainly not saying that everyone belongs in a squat cage doing heavy loaded squats, you certainly have to build up to that. Keeping it simple and doing properly executed body weight squats and building up to different variations can build strength and stamina. If you have been injured in the past, seek out a skilled trainer or therapist to get you on your way to squatting again.
There are some seriously good reasons that a squat should be part of everyone’s fitness routine.
- Squats not only help to build muscle in the lower body (quads, hamstring, glutes, calves), but since your body has to work in harmony to execute a squat, it also strengthens your core muscles. Which means, stop doing crunches and focus on your squat!
- Because squats will help to build muscle, they will help to increase your metabolism!
- Humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days, which makes squatting a vital part of proper function. Since this functional movement is a movement we perform unintentionally on an everyday basis, becoming strong in this movement pattern will make us less prone to injury.
In a great article, Fear the Squat no More, written by Paul Chek, he delves into the benefits of body weight squats, primarily breathing squats. As stated in his article some of the benefits of squatting include:
- Improved respiration of working tissues used while squatting. As mentioned before the squat uses almost every muscle in the body to some degree.
- Improved pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands.
- Beneficial physiological stress to your hormonal system. Properly performed breathing squats actually shift the body away from sympathetic nervous system dominance and encourage parasympathetic activity. This aids in tissue repair and cultivation of Chi, or life-force energy.
- Improved movement of feces through the colon and more regular bowel movements.
To read the full article and to learn proper technique of a breathing squat, click here: articles.mercola.com/sites/…
So get moving! And stop saying that you have weak legs and can’t squat. Just start, and you’ll soon see your magnificent body adapt and build strength. Before long you’ll be singing praises of what the squat did for your body and your rear end!
Have a happy and healthy day!