For many people, appearance is a top priority when it comes to their posterior, aka Booty.
The Fitness industry for decades has been obsessed with the looks of our lower backs underlining the importance and reasons why you should Squat; and with the rise of Social Media popular hashtags such as #bootygains , #bootyworkout or #bootybootybooty exploded in recent years as a true pop culture phenomenon.
But having great glutes is much more than looking good in jeans or on Social Media: the primary butt muscle – AKA Gluteus Maximus is the largest muscle in your body also responsible for your lower back strength mobility and stabilization.
From barre to biking to huffing up the stairs to your fifth-floor walk-up, your glutes get recruited in more movements than you may realize. Not only is a strong butt key to making it (safely) through whatever workout you're tackling, but it's also key to successfully completing day-to-day activities.
The Anatomy of a Squat
The gluteus maximus muscle exhibits four actions on the hip joint; extension, external rotation, abduction and adduction of the thigh.
Unlike the other gluteal muscles, the gluteus maximus is not active while standing; instead, it intermittently activates while walking or climbing.
While sitting down, the static contraction of gluteus maximus is important for relieving the pressure of the weight of the trunk on the ischial tuberosities.
In this regard the Squat – besides being on the staples of any weight lifting/strength program, and one of the 3 major compound movements since the history of mankind - effectively works most of the major muscle groups of the butt, hips and thighs.
Squats are also a very versatile exercise.
They can be done in almost any location, with or without the use of weights or equipment.
The most obvious benefit of Squat is building your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. These drills also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building, improving muscle mass.
While there are literally hundreds of videos on Youtube that you can check out on how to Squat properly, here below I will list the top 7 Reasons – and benefits - why you should Squat and why you make it a priority in your workout routine.
Also make sure you are wearing the right squat proof leggings for your workouts!
1 – Stronger Joints
When performed properly, the load applied to the Squat is great for not only building muscle strength but also engaging the ankle, knee and hip joints all at the same time and making them stronger.
2 – Strengthen your Core
Squats can help with strengthening the core, but the relationship goes both ways. Squat more, have a stronger core. Have a stronger core - squat better.
3 – Increases Flexibility
Doing squats increases joint flexibility. The ankles, knees, hips and lower back are all utilized in the squatting motion. Be sure to maintain proper form to avoid injury. If you feel any pain in these areas, stop doing the exercises until the pain is gone
4 – Squats burn more Fat
Because the largest muscles burn the most calories, high repetition strength training creates what is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is a term used for the length of time our metabolism elevates after exercise. If you want to build or maintain muscle while losing weight, squats is your answer.
5 – Squats slow the signs of Aging
Squats increase the production of collagen, giving us a tightly toned appearance. An added benefit, by increasing our cardiovascular rate and blood flow, more nutrients are delivered to the skin cells all over our faces and bodies, which slows the typical signs of aging.
6. Boosts athletic ability and strength
If you compete in a sport, adding jump squats to your workout may help you develop explosive strength and speed which, in turn, may help improve your athletic performance.
Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that jump squat training has the ability to improve several different athletic performances simultaneously, including sprint time and explosive strength.
Developing strength and power are just a few of the many benefits of including squats in your workouts.
When performed correctly, this functional exercise also boosts your calorie burn, helps prevent injuries, strengthens your core, and improves your balance and posture.
To stay motivated, consider swapping out the traditional squat with different variations. Not only will this keep your workouts interesting, but you’ll also be challenged with each new move.
If you have a health condition or an injury, be sure to talk to your doctor or a certified personal trainer before adding squats to your fitness routine.