Back, front, split, single leg, pause, pistol, eagle, sumo, curtsy, jump, box, air, Russian, Bulgarian, wall, bosu, hack, uneven, figure four, overhead, farmer, goblet…
It doesn’t matter what kind it is, why you exercise, your goals or your sport. It’s the only exercise you could call essential.
This isn’t a guide on how to do it, there’s plenty online and there’s plenty of good PT’s out there to help with that. The purpose of this post is to make sure your doing them. From the research I’ve done and conversations I’ve had with people in the fitness industry there’s plenty of you out there that are, so well done. But according to these PT’s and fitness club owners there is a lack of them being done in gyms.
(Especially the guys.)
The squat is not just an exercise; it’s a movement pattern that your body goes through literally every single day. Its not just a leg exercise, it’s a full body movement that should be found in every weight loss, muscle building or whatever kind of plan you could think of. Whether you use any kind of resistance or weight, or just simply air squats I will say it one more time, its essential!
Lets have a think of the benefits, it’s a great way to use train your muscles and build or tone them. They also work your stabilisation muscles (balance and movement) and ligaments, which will aid in injury prevention aswell as efficiency for all you athletes out there. And importantly (most importantly in my mind) it will help with flexibility and strength in your hips, ankles, back and core, which will only help out in later life.
This one goes out to all the runners and cyclists out there, adding squats into your routine is also very beneficial. As building functional strength throughout your legs and whole body will aid with fighting muscle imbalances, which helps with injury prevention, aswell as helping build great range of motion for your ankles which will only aid your running.
Now, I am not telling you to go into the gym, strap on a belt, throw too many plates on a bar and bend your body in half and hope you survive.
What I am saying is to think about them, find a way to incorporate them into your fitness regime if you already haven’t. Even if its just 3 sets of 25 air squats in the morning. Your body will thank you. And if its already in your plan, great work! But one thing I have noticed for all the barbell squatters out there, please remember one thing. Strength is subjective (more on this later). Don’t try and compete with those gym monsters or Insta gurus. If you’re feeling the resistance, the challenge and your muscles working, you’re doing it right!
Squats have been talked about to death online. Which in my mind is a good thing, but an exercise as natural and helpful as the squat will never go out of fashion. Whether you want to be able to rock those shorts you love, finally get that bikini from that place you love or smash that route you love with time to spare. Let squats be your foundation, do them properly and safely and I promise you that you will not regret it.
(Well. Aside from the day after leg day, but doesn’t that pain hurt so good?)