Many of you know that I (Michelle) am a runner…but did you also know that I thoroughly enjoy strength training. I LOVE moving heavy things, and one of my all time favorite strength moves is the mighty SQUAT!
Want to burn some serious calories? Then start doing squats. It only takes 5 minutes of intensive squats to burn 44 calories, which makes it one of the most effective exercises for weight loss and building overall strength!
Most people will turn to cardio and HIIT exercises for maximum burn - and they do work. But it’s often difficult to maintain the level of these types of exercises after you’ve reached your ideal weight.
This is one of the benefits of squats - they burn plenty of calories but without the fatigue that you get from doing a HIIT session. It sounds like a basic exercise, but there’s more to it than just weight loss. Read on to find out why you should be adding squats to your workouts and how they can help you reach your fitness goals.
Squats Build More Muscle
Muscles will continue to burn calories throughout the day even when you’re not doing exercise and just getting on with your usual activities. So it makes sense to build your muscles so that they can burn more calories without much effort.
Some of the largest muscles are in the lower body. Apparently, every pound of muscle will burn up to 50 calories a day, and that’s when it’s in a resting state. This is why doing squat workouts is a great form of exercise for building the muscles in the lower body, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, so that over time you will naturally burn more calories.
Squats can also be considered a full-body workout, as it works the muscle groups in the upper body. Your abdominals, torso, and back muscles are all being used to keep your body stable when you do a squat.
Squats vs Cardio
Doing squats might be the last thing you think of if you want a sweaty workout. But if you do them at a high enough intensity, your heart rate and oxygen demands can end up higher than working out on a treadmill - you’ll be sweaty in no time.
Squats Build Definition
Weight is often used as a measure of your fitness level, but two people can weigh the same but look completely different. This is down to what the body mass is composed of - the person with more body fat composition will look more out-of-shape in comparison to someone with more muscle mass.
Squats build muscle and burn fat, which is different from doing only aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises will burn both fat and muscle, which is fine if that’s what your fitness goals are.
A great example of this is marathon runners that tend to have very low fat and muscle mass. But if you’re looking to get more tone and definition, then squats are what you need to do.
Try experimenting with different variations of squats to target different muscles in the body. Adding in weights, and changing up the reps and number of sets that you do will also add to the intensity level.
Looking to get stronger? Then squats are one of the best exercises to help you gain strength in the lower body. Gym fanatics can use equipment to isolate and work on each muscle group.
But only using machines can limit your progression as it can easily tire out the muscles. On the other hand, compound movements like squats use all of the muscle groups together, which can help to increase overall strength and power.
Hormone imbalance can happen in both men and women, but did you know that working up a sweat is a great way to help you regain hormonal balance? It can also release happy hormones in the body which generally leads to better moods and the added benefit of keeping your heart healthy.
Body fat that’s hard to shift can also be the result of certain hormone imbalances, like testosterone and the human growth hormone. Insulin is one of the factors that can affect these hormones, and one of the best ways to keep your insulin levels in control is by ramping up your metabolism.
With squats, your body is expending more energy which results in boosting your metabolism during the workout and long after your workout has finished. You can do this as part of your exercise routine, but it can also be a great way to get the blood flowing if you find yourself sitting at your desk for long hours.
Overall, a healthy diet and doing squats are fantastic ways to help you increase your metabolism and work on rebalancing the body’s hormones.
Conditioning your muscles will help you recover faster and your workouts will be more efficient over time. So you may not be able to do as many reps at the beginning and you’ll need more rest in between sets. But with consistency, you’ll find that you can do more reps in a shorter amount of time.
Squats are a great muscle conditioning exercise that can be done on their own or with additional gym equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells. You can also try doing different types of squat exercises like sumo squats, pistol squats, and split squats that will help vary the intensity for different muscle groups in the lower body.
To get the most out of your workouts, you need to allow time for the muscles to recover. Not giving your body the right nutrients can hinder your weight loss progression, which is why following a weight loss program from ChiroThin can be beneficial alongside your fitness routine.
Benefits of Squats
The benefits of squats are too many to count, but just adding the basic squat to your daily fitness routine can help build muscle, burn fat, and increase your metabolism. Squatting is also a natural movement that anyone should be able to do, and it’s a sign of both good health and mobility.
Side benefit of squats…you’ll look and feel different in your clothes! As this is a whole-body exercise, it is GREAT for shaping and toning the body. If I could ONLY do one strength exercise, it would be the SQUAT!
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Click here to find a ChiroThin doctor in your area.