Everyone knows the misery of a good leg day. Most of the time, that is why people tend to skip leg day. The stiff legs, sore butt, and all-around displeasure that can follow a leg day are enough to make some people shy away from doing it regularly enough to get the real benefit of a fantastic day of squats. So, today I’m going to tell you some of the benefits of making the squat day, a day to look forward to in your weekly workout regiment.
For me, the best place to start is with a wide arrange of ways you can do a squat. From the bodyweight squat to the barbell split squat you can do many different forms of squats that will help take your squat game to the next level. Squats do not have to be a heavy barbell back squat, building muscle endurance by doing something like a jump squat is something that will go a long way to help you will your heavy back squat. A rear foot elevated split squat will help to build stability within the knee along with activating those core stabilizer muscles. What I’m trying to say is that a squat workout can vary and keeping your legs on their toes will benefit you in the long run.
My next point was touched on for a moment in the previous point, but it is how often a squat requires work from your core. Having a strong core is very important to have a strong squat. In many cases, if you do not have one you do not have the other. These two work together to help improve each other and give you the benefit in the long run. As you squat, you need to have a strong core to get back to the top of the squat. During a squat, your core is tight and supports your spine throughout the process of the squat.
A great aspect of the squat, that is regularly forgotten about, is the benefits of squats for your flexibility. Squats increase flexibility/mobility in the hips, thoracic spine, shoulders, knees, and ankles. This results in the body needing to use less energy due to the mobile, stable joints, and the wider range of motion. This mobility and stability will lead to less risk of injury and help improve your daily life too.
The more muscle you have the faster you will burn fat and the largest muscle in the human body is the Gluteus maximus. So, building the glutes and the quad muscles are key to burning fat. Performing cardio will burn fat for up to two hours post work out, but when we squat with weights we will burn fat for up to 48 hours post work out. This is because the larger the muscle the more calories are needed to recover. High rep strength training creates what is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is a term used for the length of time that our metabolism elevates after a workout.
-if you want to learn more about EPOC here is a link to an article dedicated to that.
The final thing I want to touch on is the hormones that we release when we are squatting. When we are lifting heavier weights while squatting, our larger muscle groups are under fire and cause damage to the muscles that need to be repaired. As a result of this damage, our pituitary glands release natural human growth hormones (HGH) in order to repair the muscle. HGH doesn’t just heal the muscle but it stimulates fat loss, increases energy levels, increases bone strength and density, cell reproduction, and stabilizes mood.
These are just some of the benefits you can get from doing squats, never mind the fact they are fun to do. Incorporating them more regularly may just change your results and give you that extra bit of fire to get the results you are looking for.
Catch you on the next leg day!