Squats are a full body movement that activates almost every muscle in the body. It is a great exercise to include for weight loss and fitness.
I decided to commit to a 100 squat a day for 30 days challenge and make a video about my squat experiment, with before and after photos.
Not only did this challenge benefited my body physically, it also allowed for increased speed in my running. So squats can boost sports performance too.
Here are some of the benefit of this exercise:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle and bone strength
- Increased flexibility and strength of knees (if done correctly, of course)
- Burns fat and increases muscle
- Can lead to weight loss
- Good for digestion
- Improved circulation
- Improves the pumping of bodily fluids and assists in removal of waste and in the delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands
- Improved bowel movements
- Low impact, and therefore doesn’t put strain on one’s back
- Can be done without any equipment or accessories (utilising own body weight for the squat)
- Can be done anywhere, indoors or out, therefore an impactful and a cheap exercise option
- Improved posture
- Fast results
- Have a positive effect on endogenous testosterone production
Why should squats be part of an exercise regime?
It has enormous benefits for the body, and given that so many muscles are utilised in squats (quadriceps, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, erector spinae, rectus abdominis, tibialis anterior, soleus, gastrocnemius, obliques).
It almost seems to be THE exercise of choice if one has limited time and wants to maximise a workout.
Squats are a compound movement, which means that it is a movement that uses more than one joint (hip and knee joints) to complete.
Having great form and technique when doing a squat is important in avoiding injury and achieving maximum benefit.
How to do a regular squat:
- warm up
- stand with knees slightly bent and feet just over shoulder width apart
- head straight, so look straight ahead
- keep back in a neutral position, and make sure that knees are over feet
- slowly bend knees, hips and ankles, ensuring that the back is straight all the way through, inhaling as you go down
- return to starting position while exhaling
- repeat 15 to 20 times, for 2 to 3 sets, for beginners
A few things to remember:
- do not make sudden and jerky movements whilst doing the squat
- make sure the body is balanced
- start slowly and do not overdo it – there is no rush
- build up strength and stability
- always keep back straight when doing squats – very important
- distribute body weight onto heels and quads
Of course you cannot just squat yourself to a slim shape and vibrant health, whilst neglecting your diet.
So a whole-food, plant-based meal plan that is as much raw as possible is going to help you not only shift any extra weight and keep it off long term, but also boost your health and rejuvenate you on every level.
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