The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise that needs numerous upper and lower body muscles to perform together simultaneously.
Many of these aid in daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, and bending and carrying large things. They can also assist you with athletic activities.
The squat works your core muscles in addition to your lower body. The rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae are among these muscles.
Squats come in a variety of forms, each focuses on a different muscle group. But the result always stays the same: a stronger physique and increased strength of the body.
Bodyweight squats, plyometric squats, weighted squats, Bulgarian split squats, and banded squats are the most prevalent types of squats performed by bodybuilders, strength trainers, and athletes.
Squats can help anyone improve their exercise performance, reduce your injury risk, and keep you moving more effortlessly throughout the day. However, these are only a handful of the advantages.
Do Squats Work For Men?
The conventional wisdom is that squats are a great exercise for men because they’ve been proven to help build muscle and burn fat. Here’s how you can tell if squats are good for your body type.
The official stance on squats is that these exercises can best be used as a muscle-building exercise for those with relatively lean physiques, as opposed to those who have more body fat and need to focus on cardio. However, if your main goal is to lose fat while retaining as much of your strength and muscularity as possible, squats may be the best exercise for you.
So, does that mean that squats have no place in the routine of someone who has a more husky physique? As with all exercise routines, it’s important to choose your techniques and methods based on your fitness goals.
Since squats take a tremendous full-body effort, it makes them effective as a calorie burner. They also build more lean muscle which will increase your overall metabolism and ability to burn calories.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain weight, squats should be part of your training program. Whether you want larger, more developed muscle, or leaner, more toned definition–squatting needs to be front and center of your training program.
11 Squat Benefits For Men
The list of squat benefits is long, but here are some of the most significant benefits of doing squats.
1. It Helps to Strengthen Your Core
Everyday activities like turning, bending, and even standing can be made easier with solid core muscles. Not only that, but a strong core can help you maintain good posture by improving your balance and relieving low back pain.
According to a 2018 study, back squats resulted in more engagement of the muscles that support your back. Researchers compared core muscle activation during a plank with back squats.
Based on these findings, the researchers suggested that back squats be used to target the core muscles, reducing the risk of injury and improving athletic performance. In fact, squats can activate your core muscles more than a plank. So, if you want a strong core–you need to squat.
2. Keeping Your Mobility And Balance
Squats strengthen the leg muscles, core, and back, all essential structures for mobility and balance. It becomes more challenging to retain mobility and balance as one grows older; strong muscles come in handy, and regular squats should help.
Squats also help the mind and brain work together more effectively. The squat makes everyday activities more manageable such as picking up small kids or climbing the stairs.
3. Muscle Growth And Strengthening
Squats are the key to swiftly gaining muscle mass (and naturally). And if you’re looking to increase strength and muscle mass throughout your entire body, squats are crucial–even though they’re a lower body exercise.
This is because squats engage our sympathetic nervous system in a way that no other exercise can. It’s our sympathetic nervous system that secretes hormones that assist in muscle growth and gains in strength.
Researchers discovered that practicing six sets of high-intensity barbell squats could boost growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, and cortisol, hormones linked to muscle growth and strength gains.
Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) synthesis decrease as we become older.
Regular squats can help you maintain optimal GH and IGF levels, resulting in increased muscle mass, improved workout performance, and more energy.
4. Injury Risk Is Reduced
Squats work to engage the muscles in your lower body, which makes them a great exercise for injury prevention. Squats help to prevent lower back conditions caused by degeneration of the vertebrae. Squats also help to prevent injuries to the knees and hips.
You’ll be able to execute full-body motions with greater form, balance, mobility, and posture if you strengthen the muscles in your lower body.
According to the American Council on Exercise, squats also help strengthen your tendons, ligaments, and bones, which may help minimize your chance of injury.
5. Effective In Calorie Burning
Calorie burning is frequently associated with aerobic activities like running or cycling. High-intensity compound motions like the squat, on the other hand, can burn a lot of calories.
A 155-pound person, for example, can burn around 223 calories undertaking 30-minutes of strenuous strength or weight training activities like squats, according to Harvard Medical School.
Even though they are a lower-body exercise, squats require a full-body effort to perform. This full-body engagement makes squats an excellent calorie burner. You may find you’re more exhausted after a set of squats than a session of cardio. If you want to lose body fat and burn calories, squats are a must.
6. Lower Body Muscles Are Strengthened
The largest and most powerful muscles in the body can be found in the legs. Your glutes, quads, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and calves are responsible for practically every movement you make, from getting out of bed to sitting in a chair.
Squats and other strength-training activities can help tone and build the muscles in your lower body. When these muscles are in good shape, you may notice that you can move about more efficiently, with less pain, and everything from walking, bending, standing, and exercising becomes more manageable.
7. Improvements In Athletic Performance
Squats are not only a great full-body workout that will help you grow muscle strength and power, but they will drastically improve your athletic performance. According to a 2016 study, from the Journal of Sports Science Medicine, researchers looked into the benefits of jump squat exercises done three times a week over eight weeks.
The researchers concluded that jump squat training could increase several different athletic performances simultaneously, including sprint time and explosive strength, based on the findings of the study.
8. Improves the Overall Posture of the Body
Squatting as an activity is strongly dependent on proper form and posture. As your strength and muscle improve, so will improvements in your posture. Your legs provide the base for the rest of your body and that–along with improved core strength–can have a positive impact on your posture.
This will also lead to less fatigue and muscle discomfort throughout the day. Besides your core, squats also strengthen your lower back which is also important for strong posture. If you spend a lot of the day on your feet, squats will make it more manageable.
9. Tones the Lower Body
Squats are an exercise that primarily targets the leg muscles, glutes, and other body muscles. Squats work your:
- Abductors and adductors
- Hip flexors
These are the primary muscles developed by squats, but it’s also an important exercise to develop and strengthen smaller stabilizer muscles. Stabilizer muscles through the ankles and even the feet are all recruited during a squat.
10. Triggers a Hormonal Release
We touched on the positive muscle and strength effects that come from squatting. When you have a barbell on your back, it puts your body into a very defensive position. This is what activates your sympathetic nervous system resulting in a release of hormones such as testosterone and human growth hormone.
Not only are these hormones great for muscle and strength, they are also important for longevity. Growth hormone specifically can be considered the “fountain of youth” hormone. Some research states that low growth hormone levels can lead to premature aging, and exercises like squats can help combat this.
11. Increases Flexibility
When executing squats, an entire range of motion is critical. If you’re looking for more flexibility, performing the full range of motion while squatting will help. This is another one of the many benefits of squats for men.
Flexibility gets increased by exercising in a full range of motion while improving body strength. Deep squats provide you with a wide range of motion in your hips.
Increased hip flexibility usually successfully lowers back discomfort and improves performance in sports such as athletics.
The squat is one of the few exercises that may challenge most of your body’s muscles. The primary muscles targeted are those in the lower body, but you’ll need to employ muscles above your waist to complete this compound exercise effectively.
When done correctly, the benefits of squats for men are many because they are a challenging, compound exercise. Squats bring you multiple benefits including increased muscle mass, improved strength, better balance and posture, and improved athletic performance.
Beginners need to focus on form over weight to master the exercise. As your technique improves, you will naturally be able to add additional weight. It’s also a good idea not to train to failure with squats because of the safety factor. Having a spotter, or squatting on a squat rack with safety bars can make this a safer and more effective exercise.