The Superiority of Squatting

How Squatting Can Change Your Body Today

If you only do one exercise in your life, it should be the squat. Squats, even unweighted, have significant benefits for your general health. In other cultures, squatting is actually a bit more naturally tied to activities; for example, in certain Asian countries, people simply squat near a building while eating their lunch, and they maintain that position throughout. It's natural, and comfortable, for them to do so. For Americans, that isn't often the case.

The squat's importance comes from:

  • Working more muscles than any other exercise.
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    Squats work hamstrings, core strength, glutes, quads, calves, and even shoulders when weighted.
  • Boosting testosterone.
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    The above mentioned combined muscle groups are among some of the largest and most important in the body, so when strength training for better testosterone, it only makes sense to work them. When you can work them all at the same time, you are winning the game of strength.
  • Building stability.
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    Simply put, the act of squatting forces your body to recalibrate its sense of stability and balance. You're putting weight down, and lifting it back up, with your own body weight, and then some.

Form Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Squatting high.
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    The purpose of the squat is to work your legs and your core, which are two areas of the body that can produce the most explosive amount of strength when properly trained. When you aren't using correct form and squatting low enough, you aren't getting the full and intended range of the exercise. You also have a higher chance of damaging your knees by putting too much pressure on them. Squat low for success.
  • Putting weight on the front of your feet. It's not uncommon for squatters to lift their heels as they lower their body, but that action can put more stress on your knees and make your overall squat harder to accomplish. This is one of the primary reasons that flat shoes are recommended; you will have a constant reminder to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground through all parts of the squat. Avoid this behavior, because it can cause you undue injury.
  • Relying on Smith Machines.
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    Another mistake that first time lifters make is relying on machines in general, but for weighted squatting, a Smith Machine can be an even bigger impediment. The Smith Machine works by bringing the weight directly down, and then directly up, all on a guided rail system. While it does keep you safe from the weight falling on you, it doesn't help you to build your core strength, which can come from actually stabilizing your own body. It's also not the natural motion for squatting. Au naturale is best.