Why do Squats?
Kickstand Kate Knows Five Good Reasons
1. Squats are a multi-joint exercise coordinating movement at the ankle, knee and hip. With all that joint movement dozens of muscles are activated. Targeting the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, squats will strengthen your legs making everything you do easier. Squat muscles get you up, sit you down, push your car, take the stairs, give piggy back rides, walk city blocks and run from burning buildings. You may just find your luck will change with stronger legs.
2. Squats are a weight bearing exercise and weight-bearing exercise reduces your risk of osteoporosis. If there’s one thing going for obesity, it’s obesity’s ability to combat osteoporosis. The obese don’t have osteoporosis because carrying around excess body fat is, in and of itself, a weight bearing activity. You don’t need to find a squat rack or smith machine. Squat your bodyweight and protect your bones.
3. Squat progressions make squats an easily modifiable exercise for all ages and abilities.
- Squats should be unloaded before they’re loaded. That means squat with your bodyweight first, then consider squatting with a kettle bell, bar or dumbbells as you become stronger and more advanced.
- Many of my clients start their workout regimens with limited range of motion due to inflexibilities or shortened muscles – the result of poor posture and/or years of inactivity. Hip flexibility, low back flexibility, and calf flexibility play a huge role in proper squat form. Start with partial range of motion before advancing to full range of motion squatting.
- Keep it simple for starters. Don’t dive right into a complex exercise – one involving both upper and lower body movements (like squat to overhead press) before you can get the simple squat form down first.
4. Squats target the glutes, hammies, quads, and calves all in one move so you can get toned sexy legs quicker & easier than if you spent time moving from machine to machine. Maximize your time, don’t spend all day at the gym. You could do leg extensions for your quads, leg curls for your hamstrings, calf raises for your quads, and various other exercises until you targeted all the squat muscles, but you wouldn’t get the benefit of working on hip and knee stability like you do with standing squats. Squats are a functional movement totally worth practicing for every day life.
5. A simple body weight exercise like a squat has unlimited adaptations so you’ll never get bored doing them!
Beginner tip: Squatting with a ball in your hands can help improve squat posture and body alignment. Watch Kickstand Kate demonstrate in this quick exercise clip.