A list of reasons why you should love squatting
1) Squats build more than leg muscles
Did you know squatting not only focuses those gains on your Quads but also does wonders for what is commonly referred to as the Posterior chain(Hamstring, Lower Back,etc). Moreover, especially with weighted variations, many of the body's auxiliary and stabilising muscles are also put to the test. So if you are all about the gains, squats are you best friend!
2) Squatting is the best functional exercise
When you talk about functional exercises, it doesn't get more functional than the squat! Everyday sitting down and standing up, to also an extent walking and running (same motor function groups), squatting trains your body in ways that allow you to perform better in both CrossFit and everyday life. Some variations of weighted squats, such as front squats or zerchers squats, can even simulate functional movements such as carrying and moving objects around; this prevents injury in everyday life and makes you the "go to guy" for any physical challenging task.
3) Squats make you perform better
Following the previous point, training in squats allows you to perform better in your everyday WOD. The most obvious way would be making your legs stronger.
Moreover, depending on the weight and intensity you are training at, squats do wonders for your nervous system development as well! This in turn makes you stronger in other movements. Not only can squats make you jump higher and run faster; the auxiliary muscles that help with stability and balance are taken care of as well.
4) Squats prevent injury
Doing full squats promotes great pre-habilitation for the knee! Squats would give you stronger joints and develop a more flexible and mobile body thus you are doing what's necessary to keep yourself out of rehab. Especially for people who are in the high risk bracket for joint problems such as osteoporosis, squatting promotes strong and healthy knee and hip joints.
5) Squats improve balance
The obvious benefit of squats regarding balance is to improve it; however in another sense of the word, squatting does promote muscular balance in the body. Sports activities often cause muscular imbalance since natural movements do not load the body symmetrically and over a long period of time, imbalances in the muscles and joints emerge. Squats with impeccable form will allow the body to become more balanced and undo some of the damages.
6) Squats give you a stronger core
Your core muscles consist of your abdomen muscle groups, internal and external obliques(sides), pelvic floor muscle groups and erector spinae(lower back). Squats are one of the best exercises to strengthen all those muscles; a stronger core means more power to your arms and legs as they have a good base to fire from.
It doesn't get much better than that!
7) Squats can be done virtually anywhere
Squats are such a fundamental exercise, also an easy one to do anytime, anywhere! Whether you are sitting with a mojito within arms reach; or stuck in a hotel without a gym on your next business trip.
Squats will definitely be one of the cornerstone exercises in your workout. Moreover, if there's one thing we are not short of at CrossFit Cavaliers, it's squat racks! So pick up a bar today and squat away!
8) Squats strengthen muscles you dont even know you have
Whenever we move, aside from the main muscle groups doing what they are supposed to, there are many others hard at work to keep you stable and balanced. These muscles are known as accessory muscles; notable ones include your core groups and rotator cuffs muscle groups. Since squats are universal compound movements( multi-joint), it is one of the best exercises to train those muscles that do all the background work in order for you to function as an athlete.
9) Squats increase power
Like I mentioned earlier, squats are a great way to build more muscles and develop the nervous system. So naturally it does wonders for your power output too. Whether you are looking to improve that 1RM or have better power to body weight ratio, squatting is the way to go. Be sure to train both absolute strength(1 RM); and also power (speed) which could be improved by doing plyometrics training. Plyometrics are categorised by utilising the elasticity of your muscles in order to generate as much power as possible with the least amount of time.
10) There are so many variations, squats are definitely my favourite exercise of all!
From back squats to front squats; hack squats and pistols; to the lesser known zercher squats and hack squats; or even the ever challenging overhead squats. There are simply too many to choose from and all of them are a blast to do! So join us at CrossFit Cavaliers today and see where squats will take you on your fitness journey!
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