Why are squats a good exercise to do?

Did you ever see someone having problems getting out of a chair?

  • Think about it, the same muscles we use for squats are the same ones we use for everyday life when we sit and get up from a chair.
  • Squats build muscles.
  • Squats target the lower body muscles but the lower back and abdominal muscles also help stabilize our torso during this exercise.
  • Builds your core,  hamstrings, quads and calf muscles.
  • Building muscle can help with weight loss.
  • They help tone your body.
  • Squats increases your flexibility and balance.

What muscles are used for squatting?

The main muscles are,

posterior thigh musclesAnterior thigh muscles

  • The anterior thigh muscles are generally include the Quadriceps  muscle
  • Remember quad means 4.

The quadriceps muscle is made up of 4 muscles,

  • rectus femoris.
  • vastus lateralis.
  • vastus intermedius.
  • vastus medialis.

 

  • The quadriceps are responsible for extending the knee.

Lets look at each muscle a little more,

Rectus Femoris

  • Rectus means straight, it runs up and down in the middle of the leg.
  • The rectus femurs extends the knee and can flex the hip.

Vastus Lateralis

  • Lateral means of the outer edge.
  • Vastus means vast or large.
  • The vastus lateralis extends the leg.

Vastus Medialis

  • The vastus medialis is a large muscle that runs along the medical or inner thigh.
  • The vastus medialis extends the knee.

Vastus Intermedius

  • The vastus intermedius runs underneath the rectus femurs and extends the knee.

musclesThe posterior thigh muscles are also used during squats

  • The posterior thigh muscles are referred to as the hamstring muscles
  • The hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles.

Biceps Femoris

  • It is a large muscle that runs down the back and outside of the thigh.
  • Remember bi means 2, the biceps femoris has 2 heads.
  • The major action of the biceps femurs is to flex the knee.

Semitendinosus

  • It flexes the leg and extends the hip.
semimembranosus
  • The semimembranosus is wrapped in a membrane.
  • The  semimembranosus flexes the knee and extends the hip.

The buttock muscles

  • Gluteus Maximus is one the three gluteus muscles

Muscles in your lower back as well as your  abdominal muscles help support the torso when performing squats, they get a work out as well.

Lower back muscles

  • Erector Spinae muscles are made up of the,
  • spinalis muscle
  • Longissimus muscle
  • Iliocostalis muscle

Abdominal muscles

  • Transverse Abdominus muscle

Calf muscles

The calf muscles are the,

  • soleus
  • gastrocnemius
  • These muscles help support and balance you as you raise and lower into a squat.

Proper Form

  • If you feel there is too much strain stop.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, make sure the knees are not touching.
  • Slowly start to squat.
  • Your elbows should meet your knees.
  • Thighs should be parallel to the floor, you should not be any lower than this.
  • Try not to extend your knees past your toes. Look down to see you are in good alignment.
  • Make sure that butt is extended back as if you are reaching for a chair.
  • Make sure your back is straight, you should not be hunching over. This can place strain on your back.
  • Keep your core tight.
  • Look up
  • You can go fast or slow, I prefer to go slow and hold the squat for 5 seconds.

Variations of squats

  • Go way down, and you’ll feel it in every muscle in your leg. This will give you a really strong core along with strong legs and a strong back.
  • Add weights and do curls as you squat up and down
  • Hold a barbell across your shoulders.
  • Raise your heels off the ground.

Work out tips

  • As with all levels of exercise discuss with your doctor.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that can absorb sweat.
  • Ensure you are hydrated.
  • Breathe throughout the exercises.

 


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