Fitness Tip: Squats - Why They Are a Must
A couple of weeks ago I pulled together proper form, techniques, and “how to’s” on squatting. Today I am writing about WHY squatting is so important, and the benefits to performing this functional movement.
Muscle Building and Overall Strength
Squatting is a fundamental movement. Squatting is a completely natural movement that works the muscles of the back, quads, hamstrings, core, and calves. Practicing squats means keeping all of those muscles and the joints they articulate on both strong and mobile. Maintaining a strict squatting routine to build that foundation of strength and muscle, will keep you performing at your best.
Functionality and Utility
Squatting is totally natural, we know that, so let’s talk more about why you need to squat. It’s one of the most functional parts of life. We use squatting in daily activities, sitting down in a chair, getting out of bed, placing items on the ground, the list is endless.
Improvement in Sprinting
Back squats are a favorite for all sprint athletes. It requires us to explode, with as much power as possible and using the exact same chain of muscles, in the same sequence, though unilaterally. Squatting makes you stronger. The definition of “power” is the change in speed over time. So squatting allows an athlete to generate the strength needed to improve their power.
Improvement in Core Strength
All of the movements we do are initiated in the core. Think of walking, running, lifting, and all of the overhead movements we need. All the planks and sit ups you can do will not strengthen the core like squats do. The oblique and transverse abdominals are stabilized through squats as the load is placed at the top of the spine, forcing us to maintain and keep an upright position. The mechanics of a front squat puts even more stress on the core as the weight is shifted anterior, creating a longer lever to force through. Front squats work the core in the most functional way possible, because the exercise replicates real life placing and picking up of heavy objects correctly.
Well there you have it, 4 MAJOR reasons for squatting!
If you have squatting questions, or would like to have your squat pattern assessed, please reach out to Kelli Mokeler, Fitness Director at Cedardale Health & Fitness - [email protected]
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