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7 Benefits of Doing Squats and Variations to Try

When performed correctly, squats are a highly functional exercise that can enhance your calorie burn, prevent injuries, strengthen your core, and improve your balance and posture. This fundamental movement pattern engages multiple joints and muscles. Interestingly, babies instinctively squat perfectly, but as we grow, we often replace this natural movement with less optimal habits.

Squats are a dynamic strength training exercise that requires the simultaneous engagement of several upper and lower body muscles.

These muscles are crucial for powering through everyday tasks like walking, climbing stairs, bending, and carrying heavy loads. They also play a key role in athletic activities.

Incorporating squats into your workout routine can boost your exercise performance, lower your risk of injury, and help you move more efficiently throughout the day. But these are just a few of the benefits.

Read on to discover more rewards of doing squats and some variations you can try for additional benefits.

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What are the Benefits of Doing Squats?

The benefits of squats are numerous, but here are seven key advantages:

  1. Strengthens Your Core Strong core muscles make everyday activities like turning, bending, and standing easier. A robust core also enhances balance, reduces lower back pain, and helps maintain good posture. A 2018 study found that back squats activate core muscles more effectively than planks, recommending squats to reduce injury risk and boost athletic performance.

  2. Reduces the Risk of Injury Strengthening your lower body muscles improves form, balance, mobility, and posture during full-body movements. Squats also fortify tendons, ligaments, and bones, potentially lowering injury risk, as noted by the American Council on Exercise.

  3. Crushes Calories High-intensity, compound movements like squats can burn significant calories. Harvard Medical School reports that a 155-pound person can burn about 223 calories in 30 minutes of vigorous strength training, such as squats.

  4. Strengthens Lower Body Muscles Squats target some of the largest and most powerful muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and calves. Stronger lower body muscles improve comfort and ease in movements like walking, bending, and exercising.

  5. Boosts Athletic Ability and Strength Incorporating jump squats into your routine can develop explosive strength and speed, enhancing athletic performance. A 2016 study showed that jump squat training three times a week for eight weeks improved sprint time and explosive strength.

  6. Variety Helps with Motivation Once you've mastered basic squats, various squat variations can keep your workouts interesting and activate different muscle groups. Squats can be done with body weight, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, or yoga balls.

  7. Can Be Done Anywhere Bodyweight squats require no equipment, just enough room to lower your hips. Even with a busy schedule, doing 50 squats a day—25 in the morning and 25 at night—can benefit many muscle groups. As you get stronger, add another 25 in the afternoon.


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