Category: Workout

Squat Science - The Right Way to Do It?

Published:24 Feb, 2017     By: Salan Khalkho     6 min read

Squat is the best bang for your buck strength exercise since it helps you hit many different muscles group along the way. The most obvious ones to be targeted are the prime movers such as the quads, hamstrings and glutes.

squat for musculature must stabilize

Often called the king of exercises, squat is the best bang for your buck strength exercise since it helps you hit many different muscles group along the way. The most obvious ones to be targeted are the prime movers such as the quads, hamstrings and glutes.

The key is that your musculature must stabilize the torso while maintaining a neutral spine and also support the load and act as a fleshy lever. In short squat is a complicated movement that is designed to force your body's parts to work and grow stronger as a single unit. Often people believe that squats are "leg" exercise, but they actually offer benefits for your entire body.

However the largest muscle in your body, the thighs, is the biggest gainer. Squat not only stimulates serious gains in muscular size and strength, but it also provides systemic metabolic stimulation that encourages even upper body growth.

squat provides serious results from your workout routine

Squat offers a powerful way to boost your overall fitness and get some really fast serious results from your workout routine. The importance of squat can never be emphasized enough. This is one exercise that should be part of virtually everyone's routine.

Though squats involve complicated movements, it simple to perform and requires no equipments. However be warned, squats may turn out to be the most difficult exercise to do properly if you don't know what you are doing. The best part is that you can do them just about anywhere.

    Squat Boosts Performance

    Benefits of squats

    Here are some of the reasons why squats make such a fantastic exercise

    Prevent injuries

    Studies have shown that most of the injuries happen due to weak stabilizer muscles, connective tissues and ligaments. Squats help strengthen them. Squats improve the range of motions in your ankles and hips. This considerably improves your flexibility and balance, thereby preventing injury.

    Boosts performance

    Studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability, for example squatting helps athletes run faster and jump higher. That's exactly the reason why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete's performance training program.

      Build muscles

      Squats helps build your leg muscles such as your ham-string, calves and quadriceps. They also create anabolic environment which stimulates body-wide muscle building. Squats are so intense that if done properly, they trigger release of testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) in your body which helps in muscle growth, improves muscle mass and help train other areas of your body besides your legs.

      Tips for doing squat right

      Tone your entire body

      There are only few exercises that work as many muscles as the squats. It's an excellent exercise to tone and tighten your behind, abs, and obviously your legs. Squats also help build muscles and take part in regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity. This means squats are helpful in preventing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

      Over several decades heavy-squat techniques have evolved considerably. Around 1970s (the Arnold era) nearly all the top champs, even including Arnold himself, incorporated some form of squats in their leg training sessions.

      According to Jerry Brainum who served as Arnold's leg-training partner on several occasions, said, training thighs and building mass wasn't easy for Arnold, since his thigh mass was the first to atrophy when he didn't train. That's actually the reason why Arnold always sought a training partner to push him.

      Few tips to remember

      Before you start loading yourself with tons of weight, make sure you are comfortable in doing regular body squats.

      • Your feet should be slightly wider than your hip-width apart when you stand. Your toes should be slightly pointed outward.
      • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you are not going down that far, you won't enjoy the benefits of squats. When you go down that far, you can feel it in every muscle of your leg. This will help you develop strong core, strong legs and strong back.
      • Be careful not to extend your knees past your toes. When you do your squats right you will find yourself sitting back with your ass out and back straight.
      • Prevent yourself from arching back by keeping your head straight and your abs tight throughout the whole exercise.
      • Though you should definitely aim at improving your position, you should never force your body into positions it simply isn't prepared for. Give your body enough time to slowly and gradually incorporate best positions.
      • Give priority to range of motions over load. Squatting deeper with even lighter load is better for knee and produces greater muscular and tendon adaptations, provided you are able to maintain good technique, instead of squatting more shallowly with heavier loads. Squatting deep with good technique will help protect your lower extremities from injury.

      One of the biggest challenges of bodyweight training is to come-up with creative ways to continue progressing in your training without adding external resistance. Fortunately there are multiple ways you can achieve this, for example you can change the tempo, rest, speed, sets or leverage.

      Another super effective and intuitive technique is progressing to single leg squat. Transitioning from bilateral (two limbs) to unilateral (one limb) will completely change the dynamic of the exercise.

      Single leg squat

      Single leg squat

      Transitioning to single leg squat, challenges the stability of ankle, hip, knee and trunk. It also challenges the overall stability of the body. Starting single leg box squat with high enough object will help you perform exercise with perfect form. You will also notice a quick progression into a deeper single leg squat.

      However if you start with too low object and with poor form, it will be much harder for you to progress to more advanced versions.

      Unfortunately not all lifters can perform single leg squats. Many try for once or twice, fail terribly and write it off as something they can't perform and are never able to make it past the beginning stage.

      Single leg box squat

      Single leg box squat

      Single leg box squat is the most difficult single leg exercise. That's mostly because of the bigger range of motions compared to the single leg squat. You will need more strength and balance to be able to perform this exercise. The exercise places high demand on the eccentric strength in order to turn the descending phase into a concentric contraction. To do single leg box squat, assume a single leg stance on a box.

      Squat down by flexing the knee. Only one of your heels should be placed on the bench, the one that will balance you. Keep the movement of your other ankle to minimum. Raise your arms to shoulder height as a counterbalance as you squat down. Squat down until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Now squat back up using only the leg you are balancing on.

      Single leg pistol squat

      Single leg pistol squat

      Single leg squat is extremely important in building the foundation for pistol squat. Pistol squat is performed using single leg which squats all the way down until the butt touches the heel of the same leg. The other leg is extended straight out in the front with both the arms straight and held at shoulder level.

      Pistol squat demands great deal of strength, so you need stability in order for the muscles to exert that level of force. Single leg box squat helps to build the strength and necessary hip musculature needed for pistol squat. To perform single leg pistol squat, stand with arms extended out in front while balancing on one leg and keeping the other leg straight extended forward and as high as possible.

      Now squat down as far as possible while keeping the other leg elevated off the floor. Keep your back straight and your supporting knee should be pointing the same direction as the foot supporting. Now raise your body up to original position until knee and hip of supporting leg is straight. This exercise is one of the most difficult even for the advanced exercisers.

      Single leg squat (weighted)

      This exercise is the weighted version of single leg pistol squat. It is normally considered auxiliary in context to other basic exercises like barbell squat, sled leg press etc. The exercise is performed exactly in same fashion as single leg pistol squat with only exception that the arms that are already extended out in the front, holds medicine ball this time.

      Important Note: Medical and health related information given in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This article is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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