By Gabe Sanders Ph.D., NSCA-CSCS
Have you ever wondered if all exercises were created equal? Or maybe you are convinced that some exercise is better than no exercise and to achieve good health a person can just do a minimum amount of exercise and still boost their health.
The truth is, some exercise is better than no exercise, but not all exercises are equal as some exercises are better for energy expenditure and some exercises benefit more muscles that can improve your daily life. If you really want to achieve optimal health benefits from your exercise regimen, perhaps you really need to consider adding squats and various types of squat-based exercises.
Here is why!
When exercising, it is best to include major muscle groups and multi-joint exercises. The squat exercise is one of the best exercises because it stimulates the largest group of muscles in your body and it also includes the three primary joints in your lower body; ankles, knees, and hips. Exercising and placing a safe resistance to your squat or squat-based exercise will help build muscle that improves your balance and functions of daily living.
Squats promote weight loss
Excitingly, squats are also a vital exercise to promote weight loss. In fact, recent research found that breaking up sedentary time throughout the day by completing basic bodyweight chair squats (in other words, sitting up and sitting down in a chair) can favorably improve the number of calories you burn.
Other research suggests that any type of squat or multi-joint exercise can significantly improve weight management strategies and regular squat-based exercises can counter age-related pathologies or diseases.
Sitting up from a chair is a squat exercise
If you think squatting is only exercise athletes do to train for their sports, you are incorrect. Almost anyone can add squats to their exercise program. For example, sitting up from a chair is a squat exercise. If you repeatedly sit up out of the chair, you can reap the benefits of adding squats to your weekly regimen. For starters, begin with simple chair squats and progress from that point.
Add this basic squat exercise
Your goal should be to complete 10-15 repetitions for a total of three sets. As the basic squat exercise becomes easy, find a way to gradually add weight. For example, you can hold on to a weight or a dumbbell and hopefully add a bar to do a barbell back squat. Either way, add squats to your regimen!
Hawari, Nabeha SA, John Wilson, and Jason MR Gill. “Effects of breaking up sedentary time with “chair squats” on postprandial metabolism.” Journal of sports sciences 37.3 (2019): 331-338.
Vecchio, L. D., H. Daewoud, and S. Green. “The health and performance benefits of the squat, deadlift and bench press.” MOJ Yoga Physical Ther 3.2 (2018): 40-47.
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