Squats are a strength training exercise that primarily works your lower body.

What Is Squatting Good For?

by Lindsay Haskell

Doing squats regularly increases your muscle mass, thereby raising your metabolism and energy level. Therefore, squats can help you lose weight. Squatting also releases endorphins, which are hormones that put you in a better mood, and it will help you sleep better, according to the website for Brian Mac, sports coach.

Build Muscle and Burn Fat

The squat is a total-body exercise involving almost all your major muscles. This increases production of muscle-building growth hormones and testosterone, which will help you build more muscle. The more muscle mass you have on your body, the faster your metabolism is. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories you burn at any given time, thereby making squats an ideal strength training exercise for a fat-burning weight loss or weight management program.

Strength and Endurance

More muscle means having more strength. Strengthening your muscles helps them work longer and more efficiently, which can help improve your physical endurance for walking, running, jumping, lifting heavy items and doing other things. This is beneficial for everyone, not just athletes.

Explosive Power

To be fast, you need to gain not only strength, but also explosive power. Therefore, squats are good for athletes like sprinters who depend more on explosive power than endurance for their speed. Deep squatting and jumping from a low squat help you improve your explosive power. Squat jumps are performed by exploding straight up as high as you can when you come up from a low squat with your feet shoulder-width apart. You may also squat with weights to add resistance.

Prevent Injuries

Squats strengthen your stabilizer muscles, ligaments and tissues, while increasing your balance and leg flexibility, all of which prevent athletic injuries. If you do squats while holding a barbell in front of you instead of behind your head, you'll work your abs harder, which will further improve your balance. Developing stronger legs by doing squats will also help prevent falls as you age by improving your balance, strength and endurance.

About the Author

Lindsay Haskell enjoys writing about fitness, health, culture and fashion. She is a contributor for "Let's Talk Magazine" and "The Wellesley News." Haskell is completing her B.A. in philosophy at Wellesley College. She's also a fiction writer whose work can be read online.

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