Top 8 Benefits of Squats
Jan 4, 2019
1.Help your body produce nitric oxide (NO) — This is actually one of the primary reasons squats are so beneficial. NO is a soluble gas produced and stored in the lining of your endothelium (blood vessels), which acts as an important signaling molecule throughout your body.
When you exercise and your muscles ache, it's because you've run out of oxygen, which your body compensates for by releasing NO (to dilate your blood vessels making it easier for oxygen to be delivered). This process fuels muscle development.
NO also promotes healthy endothelial function, heart health and healthy blood flow by helping your veins and arteries dilate. This, in turn, allows vital oxygen and nutrients to flow freely throughout your body. NO also plays a protective role in your mitochondrial health and improves your immune function.
By stimulating the thinning of your blood and decreasing its viscosity, squats may also help discourage the development of blood clots that could cause a heart attack or stroke.
2.Build muscle in your entire body and tone your abs and glutes — Squats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes bodywide muscle building.
In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs. So, squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
3.Burn more fat — One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is to gain more muscle, as muscle is more metabolically active, and is thought to burn about three times more calories than fat, pound for pound.1
4.Improve mobility and balance — Strong legs are crucial for maintaining mobility as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles that are important for balance. They also improve communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which can help prevent falls. Taken together, these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently.
5.Prevent athletic injuries — Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. Squats also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
6.Boost sports performance — Whether you're a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you'll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.2 Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete's training program.
7.Improve insulin sensitivity — Muscles participate in the regulation of glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, so by building muscle throughout your body, squats help protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
8.Help with waste removal — Squats also improve the movement of body fluids, thereby aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They're also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and can lead to more regular bowel movements.