Why Should You Train The Squat?

The squat is a freat lower body exercise that targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. By regularly training squats, you can develop strength and muscle in these areas, improving your ability to perform daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, and carrying loads.

Squats can also help train your stabilizer muscles and are great for promoting bone density and reducing your risk forosteoporosis. Additionally, squatting helps promote joint health by strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the knees and hips.

Which Muscles Are Used During A Squat

The squat primarily trains the following muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • Adductors
  • Calves
  • Glutes

However, to a lesser extent, push-ups also hit the muscles in these areas:

  • Core
  • Hip flexors

Level 1: Assisted Squats

Assisted squats are a good starting place for anyone looking to train their lower body. To perform an assisted squat grab a bar or anything that is stable and won’t move. Be sure to choose something around waist height. With your legs shoulder width apart slowly bend your knees forward and go as low as you can. When you are unable go any lower straighten your legs and stand back up. Assist yourself by pulling yourself back up with your arms to reduce the weight placed on your legs.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Level 2: Wall Squats

Stand straight with your back against a wall. The wall will remove any shakiness during your squat making it easier and more comfortable. Bend your knees to lower yourself and once you’re at the lowest point in the squat straight your legs to stand back up. Remember to keep your knees pointed in front of you while performing any type of squatting exercise. If you are having trouble standing back up from the lowest point of your squat reduce how deep into the squat you go. This will reduce the difficulty when standing back up.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Level 3: Wall Sits

Wall sits also promote isometric strength and endurance, as they require you to hold a static position for an extended period. This can translate to improved muscular endurance during squats, allowing you to maintain proper form and perform more repetitions before fatigue sets in. With your back against a wall lower yourself halfway into a squat where the bend in your legs makes a 90-degree angle. Hold this position along as you can.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 30 seconds

Level 4: Half Squats

Now that you’ve trained the muscles in your lower body it’s time to get rid of the help from the wall. Start by doing half rang of motion squats. You are stronger in the upper half of the squatting motion before your legs pass 90 degrees making it a great place to start. As you get more used to lowering yourself into a squat position you can go lower and lower until you reach a full squat.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Level 5: Full Squats

Doing a full squat isn’t easy and if you can perform one you should feel a sense of accomplishment. Let’s go over the motion to make sure you are performing each squat properly. Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Slowly bend your knees and push your hips back as if you are sitting into a chair and go as low as you can. Once you’ve reached the bottom of your squat extend your legs back to the starting position making sure you keep your knees pointing forward the entire time.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 8 repetitions