Make Squats a Key Part of Your Strength Training
At Xercise4Less Gyms we know just how great of an exercise squats can be. In fact, some people swear by squats so much that they think it’s the one workout you should always include in your strength training programme. But what exactly is a squat?
A squat is a compound movement (uses more than one joint) for your lower body and which requires a lot of muscles to perform correctly, particularly using weights like barbells. Squats will build your leg muscles, strengthen your glutes, and tone many other muscles besides.
Ready to give squats a go and incorporate them into your next workout routine? Read on for all the benefits of squats, when you should do them during your workout week and what the best squat technique is for you.
The Real Benefits of Squats in an Xercise4Less Gym
Squatting with a barbell on your shoulder really builds your main leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves but that’s just the start. Improved lower body strength through squats also improves your athletic performance and your everyday mobility and posture. Squats engage your ankle, knee and hip joints all at the same time strengthening them for normal daily activities like lifting or bending and help keep you mobile longer in life. Literally nothing is left out when you squat though; you work your back, your core, your shoulders, and your arms. By using so many muscle groups in a squat, your body burns a huge number of calories in the process. And, of course, most cardio and sports need a strong lower body so effective squats allow you to run faster and for longer thanks to your improved leg strength. Finally, there are loads of squat variations so you can change up your workouts and keep challenging your body.
When to Include Squats in Your Weightlifting Programme
You could squat 3 times a week but most people work out with squats no more than once or twice a week so their muscles can fully recover. Squats are usually included on either a leg day, lower body day, or push day.
If you want an expert to check your squat form, our staff will help you to perform a proper squat. And that’s key because it’s important to get your form right to perform the exercise the most effective way possible. Once you have the right squat form, squats are hugely effective in building muscle and improving your body shape.
Read our brief guide as to the best form for squats below.
The Best Technique for Gym Squats
Squats need to be done correctly for maximum effectiveness so this is how you should perform a squat:
- Stand with the barbell on your back and a slightly wider than shoulder width stance
- Bend at the knees, pushing the hips back but keeping your torso straight
- Keep squatting until your thighs are parallel to the ground
- Then squat back up to the starting position, keeping your knees in line with your shins and maintaining a straight torso
You can choose from many different forms of squats, but the most common type of barbell squats are the high bar back squat or Olympic squat, a low bar back squat, and a front squat. All of these use a barbell, but the placement is different in each type. As all our bodies are different, your squats won’t look exactly the same as other gym users but don’t worry!
Join Xercise4Less Gyms and Get into Your Very Best Shape
At Xercise4Less Gyms we want to empower you to find the right fitness programme for your fitness goals – and we think that squats are an important part of getting you into the best shape possible.
If you’re not already a member of Xercise4Less Gyms what are you waiting for? You could exercise at a great value gym which provides a non-intimidating, friendly and inclusive environment for members at every stage of their fitness journey. Whether you’re just getting started or want to start training for a marathon, you’ll be inspired to reach your fitness goals when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today.