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What Are The Benefits of Squatting?

I am sure many of you have heard of the squat and how great of an exercise it is, well you would be correct! However, many people don’t know why the squat is such a great exercise, and for that reason, within this article I will be answering the question, what are the benefits of squatting?

Allow me to break it down into the squats three main benefits:

  1. Highly Conducive to Progressive Overload
  2. Highly Applicable Movement
  3. Great For Strengthing Other Muscles

 

Conducive to Progressive Overload:

Progressive overload is crucial for seeing results in the gym, whether you’re trying to gain muscle, strength, power, you name it! You can learn more about progressive overload through one of my recent articles, “What is Progressive Overload”. With the importance of progressive overload out of the way, let’s look at how the squat allows us to reap this benefit.

With the squat being a major compound lift, it utilizes more than just the quads to perform the lift. The squat uses other muscles in conjunction with the quads to execute the lift, such as the glutes and lower back. With these major muscle groups working together, they allow us to train the lift heavy. When we can train a lift heavy it gives us room to vary the rep and weight range, therefore, making it highly conducive to progressive overload!

Highly Applicable Movement:

When I say the squat is an applicable movement, I mean it can be used for many things. Such as different types of training such as strength, hypertrophy, power, etc. The squat is also quite beneficial for our day to day life, with lots of strength and stability that can be acquired from it.

Let’s talk about why the squat is such a great exercise for a variety of goals. We know the squat is a major compound lift that can be trained heavy, and since heavy training is hugely important for gaining strength, this makes the squat a great movement for strength. It also does a great job of targeting the quads, making it an awesome exercise for quad hypertrophy. You can check out my article, “How to Target Muscle Groups” for more information on what makes exercises effective for targeting muscle groups. When talking about power, we want to be able to apply force quickly. The squat allows us to use multiple muscle groups that work together to accomplish this, with a decent load to boot as it can be trained quite heavy (in general). Additionally, the squat has a rather high stability demand, another important component of being able to efficiently apply power.

Strengthening Other Muscles:

Lastly, we have the benefit of strengthening other muscles. While we know the squat directly strengthens muscles like your quads, glutes and lower back, there are others. These include muscles that are required to stabilize your body to properly execute the squat.

These muscles include things like your core to help prevent rounding of the back, as well as helping with maintaining an upright posture throughout the squat. Another example of one of these muscles would be your gluteus medius. A muscle on the side of your glutes, responsible for stabilizing your hip and leg. Which works to prevent things like hip shifting and knee cave. As we know, the squat is often times trained heavy, which is why it is a solid movement for strengthening these types of muscles as it places a high level of demand on them.

Wrapping Up:

All in all, within this article, you have learned of three of the main benefits of the squat. Not only do you know the benefits, but you also have the information to know why they’re beneficial so you can apply these benefits and therefore have an overall understanding of the information.

I thank you for taking the time to read this article, and look forward to you being able to benefit from this information! As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!

 

Until Next Time,

 

Kohl Johnson

I thank you for taking the time to read this article! As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!

Support is much appreciated if you benefited from this:

Kohl Johnson

6 Comments

  1. Great tips Kohl,

    I dread squatting the most, looks easy but it can get very tiring and boring but man, I didn’t know that it enhances other parts of the muscle too! Glutes and lower back, I guess the lower parts of the body are where I should turn my attention to now, guess that’s why people say never skip leg day! 😀

    • Hi Riaz, certainly, while I always find squats to be exciting, they are without a doubt tiring… that’s where the growth happens though! Also, yes squats are great for developing other muscles as well! You simply can’t skip leg day! Unless for medical reasons of course, haha.

  2. Hey Kohl, just did my squats and I was wondering about any different forms of doing them to increase muscle. I see that one benefit of squatting is for strengthening other muscles. So I started to think if there were any other forms I can apply to my regular squat routine. What I do now is I try to get about 15 reps until fatigue. I usually do 4 sets but only if I don’t increase the weight. I also do some hamstring curls and calf raises in between sets. My goal is to build muscle. What are your thoughts about this?

    • Hi Eddie, wow 4 sets of 15 to failure is quite a lot and would be super difficult haha, so props to you! I would advise you to be careful when taking major compound movements like the squat to failure though as it can lead to form breakdown and increase the risk for injury. To add to that, in all honesty, training main compound lifts like the squat to failure isn’t the most effective way of doing things in most circumstances. Try leaving 2-4 reps in reserve and apply progressive overload from there. You can learn about progressive overload through my article “What is Progressive Overload”. 

      As far as other exercises you can apply to your squat routine go, I would suggest things like weighted lunges or leg press for the goal of hypertrophy. Make sure you’re not getting too carried away with the volume though. For the goal of increasing muscle, I wouldn’t worry too much about finding fancy variations of the squat itself as there aren’t many that would be more beneficial than a traditional squat for hypertrophy. Strength is a bit of a different story.

      Also, if you’re doing hamstring curls and calf raises between sets of squats, make sure they’re not taking away from your squat performance as the squat is an extremely physically demanding exercise. Hope that helps, and be sure to always use proper technique and weight when lifting, especially with main compound lifts like the squat!

  3. Hi Kohl

    Nice! For the longest time, I feared the squats, especially after I hurt my back (although it wasn’t with squat…it was leg press, of all things).

    Anyway, I’ve always known of the benefits, and have started back to doing them, and I will never look back again. Not only are my legs stronger, but my back has never been healthier.

    I’ve also added traditional hack squats (see Tom Platz’s style). AWESOME! You don’t even need a hack squat machine. I do mine with a plate under my heels, heels together, toes out, and with dumbbells for added weight.

    I would add to this post, however, the precautions and form discipline necessary for safe and effective use of the squat.

    Otherwise, really good.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    • Hi Dave, glad to hear your back is better and squats are feeling good! Keep staying safe and healthy! Ah yes, Tom the quad father Platz, I admire your work ethic if you perform the hack squat style exercise with his intensity, haha! Thank you for the suggestion, I will be sure to do so!

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