5 Squatting Secrets
Written by Barbara Whatley, Spa & Fitness Director.
Men: “I don’t work out my legs because all I care about is my abs, back and arms.”–WRONG!
Women: “I only do cardio because if I do anything other than run, walk or get on the elliptical, I will just get bulky.” –WRONG!
Leg engaging exercises, such as squats, strengthen and stabilize your ENTIRE body by activating large muscle groups, including the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. Lower-body exercises should be part of EVERYONE’S weekly workout regime. Below are “5 Squatting Secrets,” revealing benefits beyond leaner, stronger legs.
1. Full-Body Benefits
Squats target lower-body muscles including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Plus, their anabolic environment promotes full-body muscle engagement. With proper technique, squats actually trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body that is vital for overall muscle growth.
2. Burn Fat Faster
One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is to increase muscle mass. Your legs are muscle making machines, equaling half of your overall body mass. As you gain muscle you will lose fat. Plus, for every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day.
3. Mobility & Balance
Did you know the No. 1 way to prevent bone fractures aside from supplement and bone drugs is STRONGER legs? Think about it…your legs support the rest of your body the same way a trunk supports a tree. Squats increase mobility and balance by improving the communication between your brain and various muscle groups, specifically the core. As we age, strong legs are crucial for maintaining the same mobility you had in your youth, and squats are an ideal exercise for increasing leg strength.
4. Prevent Injuries
Most fitness-related injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. Squats are the solution! They also help improve flexibility, which is crucial for preventing injuries, by establishing better range of motion from your ankles to your hips.
5. Speed Up Metabolism
Squats speed up the process of spreading consumed nutrients throughout the body, while also disposing of bodily waste and fluids. Faster disposal of waste means faster loss of weight!
If you don’t have time to add strength workouts to your current routine, try mixing it up—trade 10 minutes of your 30-minute cardio workout for 10 minutes of squats. Squats are an exercise that can be adjusted to each individual’s fitness level. To learn about proper squatting techniques and different ways the exercise can be performed, read on to our next fitness blog post.
MEMBERS: Get squatting today & schedule a session with a Golden Ocala Personal Trainer at (352) 402-4350.