Why should you squat?

The squat is arguably the king of all exercises. You could make an argument for the deadlift but we can discuss that later. Being a major compound movement, the squat works your entire body and should be at the core of any strength training routine. Whether you’re trying to lose fat, gain muscle or gain strength (two different training schemes), the squat is a key component for all of these goals. It’s a basic movement in everyday life and if you program it correctly, it can save you a lot of time in the gym.

Here is a small list of the muscles worked with the squat:

  1. Quads
  2. Hamstrings
  3. Glutes
  4. Lower back
  5. Abs
  6. Upper back (holding the bar)
  7. Calves

After a big squat workout, my entire body hurts. The seven muscle groups above are only the obvious groups worked.

So how do you incorporate them into your programing? Start with 3 sets of 10 at the beginning of your workout followed by 2-3 other lower body movement. After 2 weeks, a one more send and then do it again after another 2 weeks. Once you can do 5 sets of 10, start adding 5 pounds to the bar every week. Ride out the progressive overload as long as you can. Once you’re a little more advanced, You can break your leg workout into 2 parts and to 3 sets of 10 at each workout and follow the same process you did with a single leg day.

If you want to squat like the pro’s you can slowly add some gym gear. These are listed in order of importance (for the casual gym goer):

  1. Shoes- flat soled shoes are a must. You don’t want to wear sneakers because they aren’t stable .
  2. Belt- stabilizing the core is the most important task when squatting. When you get more weight on the bar, your core will fail before your lower body. A belt helps you lift heavier more safely.
  3. Sleeves- You want to keep your knees warm and prevent injury. Knee sleeves make squatting more comfortable.
  4. Wrist wraps- These will help you stabilize the bar on your back.
  5. Knee wraps- Mainly for serious squatters, knee wraps  are to the knees what a belt is to the core. They help you overload your lower body and add a few pounds to your squat.

I’ve added a video to help you with your form:

  1. Tight upper back
  2. Tighten core
  3. Break at the knees
  4. Hips back
  5. Squat BELOW parallel
  6. Push the bar with your back
  7. Push knees out
  8. DO NOT move hip forward at the end. Just stand up straight.

Let me know if you have any question. I’ll be happy to help.

 

 

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