Squats are one of the best and most effective exercises for losing weight and maintaining the fitness of your body. It is a type of strength-training exercise. Experts call it the “King of exercises” as squats engage all the core muscle groups, and increase muscle mass, stability and strength.
Muscle mass helps in metabolism. Faster metabolism leads to faster calorie burn and consequently, weight loss. If you are still wondering are squats good for weight loss, why, and how – we are here to answer all your questions.
Today we will provide you with a detailed article that will cover everything you need to know about ‘squats for weight loss,’ including – the benefits of doing squats, the right form of doing it, a step-by-step guide to do it, and a few additional information that might come in handy for you.
So what are you waiting for? Keep reading to find your answers!
How do squats help in weight loss?
Squats increase metabolism over time and increase the body’s natural hormones that contribute to weight loss. Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food you eat into the energy you use.
Wondering how squats increase metabolism? Well, as you do squats, the movement of your body increases. If you add weight to your squat, it will intensify the movement, burning calories to repair the muscles you have been using. This will cause an acceleration in your metabolism.
Besides having a metabolic response from squats, you will also experience some hormonal impact from doing squats. Our body needs certain hormones to build muscle and lose fat, such as growth hormone, testosterone, etc. According to a study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, there’s a 16% increase in testosterone in one’s body immediately after squatting. This results from the engagement of more muscle groups in the squat compared to other forms of exercises, such as using a leg press machine.
Benefits of doing squats for weight loss
Squats can bring about a revolutionary change in you if done in the right way. Among tons of benefits of doing squats, here are a few key highlights for you:
- Burn more calories with squats than other exercises: According to a study on the calorie-burning effects of a variety of exercises, researchers found that doing squats can burn 35 calories per minute on an average, the highest among all the tested exercises. Even 3-6 times more when compared to running on a treadmill.
So, If we compare a minute of squatting and a minute of cardio on the treadmill, you know what’s gonna be the winner!
- Increase your strength: Squatting is one of the most effective exercises if you want to increase lower body strength. As squats are a compound form of exercise, it affects all muscle groups of the body. As a result, you can add strength progress from workout to workout over time and continue to improve.
In other words, your strength does not drain from squats as from a pure isolation movement. And here;s the best part – Squats not only make your lower body stronger, but it also increases your core strength.
- Gain better body structure/composition: Body composition means the amount of bone, fat and muscle in your body altogether. To determine if you are a healthy weight for your individual body type, doctors often use body composition as a medium of measurement. Squats help in building a better, overall body composition.
Squats help to build more muscle mass and get rid of fat mass. As a result, when you have fat distributed evenly to certain body parts, the body looks more postured and toned. With effective workout progression, you can develop a well-structured body.
How to do a proper squat: Step-by-step guide
Basic squats are the kind of exercise you can do anywhere, without any equipment.
Follow these simple and easy steps to do squats in the proper form:
Step 1: First, stand straight, spread your legs across your shoulders and keep your chest up.
Step 2: Then, bend at your knees and hips, and position your hips in such a way as if you were sitting in a chair.
Step 3: Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees should be stacked on your ankles. Be sure to put them behind your toes.
Step 4: Now, your back should be straight. Push in your heels, straighten your legs and return to an upright standing position.
Things to consider while doing squats
Now that you know how to do squats in the correct form, maintaining the following things will help you enhance the effectiveness of the exercise. Here are a few things you should consider while squatting:
- Breathing Technique:
According to Reebok Master Trainer Abbas Ali, start squatting focusing on your breathing technique first. Inhale air and inflate your lungs. Then start the rep. Once you are done with the rep, exhale the air.
- Rep speed:
Besides doing the squats in the right form, it is also important to get the repetition speed right. According to Trainer Abbas Ali, make sure you are going slow while squatting down. Then go faster on your way up before you reach the upright standing position.
You will find people squatting above parallel and not going down enough to positively affect the muscles of the leg and thigh areas. The real scenario is that staying above the parallel limits will hurt your knees. So, while you squat, make sure you are reaching the right depth and that is – thighs parallel to the ground.
Whether you do squats for losing weight, gaining a toned body, or simply increasing your strength, it is crucial to do it in the right way. If done in the proper way, you will see the change in your body. What are you waiting for? Start squatting and enjoy the results in a few weeks!
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many squats do I have to do a day to lose weight?
To get the optimal results, make sure to do squats in at least 3 sets of 15 reps each day.
- Do squats help you lose belly fat?
Since squats affect all muscle groups of the body, it burns more calories than any other exercise. Hence, it will help you lose belly fat as well while reducing fat mass in your body. However, if you want to solely focus on losing belly fat, crunches might be the ideal exercise for you.
- What happens if I do 100 squats daily?
If you do 100 squats a day for 30 days, it will effectively help you in building lower body and leg muscles. However, make sure you do it in the proper form. If done in the incorrect way, squats can cause you injury and muscle strain.