Betty Doyling

Time to get down for one of the best exercises ever

  • Perfect exercise: squats offer a number of health benefits, Betty Doyling, pictured, promises (Photograph supplied)

What is one of the most popular lower body exercises?

The squat!

We perform squats daily — when we sit down and stand up; when we pick up things off the floor — but we can easily incorporate more into our daily routine.

This is one exercise you truly cannot overdo, unless you add excess weight or use improper form.

With all the strength, power, flexibility and balance that can be gained from squats, they should be a staple part of everyone’s exercise routine. Below are some of their many benefits:

Joint strengthening

Our joints are at their best when they are used frequently. When you squat regularly, you strengthen and build the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments that make up our joints. When our limbs move through multiple ranges of motion they become accustomed to handling forces in different positions, which can aid in preventing injuries. It is important, however, that your form is good.

Improves posture

When we squat we strengthen our core and lower body, which aids in better posture. Anterior and posterior back muscles work together to create better posture. When squats are performed with proper alignment, they can improve our hip health and combat things like sitting in chairs at a desk all day. Squats also build our torso strength to prevent things like internal rotation of the shoulders and hunchback. However we have to remember that stretching and mobilising are key to improving our posture, not just squatting.

Burns fat

The more muscle a person has, the more calories we can burn during the day. Since squatting strengthens multiple large muscle groups at once and requires a ton of energy to execute properly, our calorie burn is increased during a workout with squats. Plus, the majority of calories burnt from working out come after the workout is complete. Your body will be working harder and longer post-workout to repair itself, which increases total energy expenditure.

Strengthens the core

When you’re holding a weight in a squatting position, and moving through various planes of motion, your entire body has to work hard to remain stable and not fall over which fully activates your entire torso. This in turn strengthens your core, lower and mid back, spinal stabilisers and obliques.

Lowers cellulite

Squatting increases your circulation and good circulation means that more oxygen and nutrients are reaching all the vital organs and muscles throughout the body. Squats increase your muscle mass, which can aid in the reduction of cellulite. However, good dietary habits and exercise is the best way to blast away cellulite.

Keep squatting and B-Active For Life!

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook