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,
Anterior 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 means straight, it runs up and down in the middle of the leg.
- The rectus femurs extends the knee and can flex the hip.
- Lateral means of the outer edge.
- Vastus means vast or large.
- The vastus lateralis extends the leg.
- The vastus medialis is a large muscle that runs along the medical or inner thigh.
- The vastus medialis extends the knee.
- The vastus intermedius runs underneath the rectus femurs and extends the knee.
The 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.
- 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.
- It flexes the leg and extends the hip.
- 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
- Transverse Abdominus muscle
The calf muscles are the,
- These muscles help support and balance you as you raise and lower into a squat.
- 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.