Why We Squat
We don’t prescribe squatting in our workouts at Body One Fitness without reason. We do it to improve your functional abilities, strength, and athletic performance. The benefits of squatting are endless. The traditional resting position for humans has notoriously been in a deep squat position. According to Shawn Stevenson of The Model Health Show, “For countless ages throughout time, human beings have been able to crouch all the way down into a resting squat for relaxing, working, cooking, communing, and even for using the bathroom.” Squatting has been an integral part of our physical growth yet along with crawling, we stop doing it once we’re able to walk and sit. This is why we need to make sure we still practice this movement.
Here are a few scientific reasons, if you’d prefer cold hard facts. The muscles and joints in our hips, thighs, knees, lower legs, ankles, and feet rely on us challenging them to perform at their best. Without teaching our muscles to be able to do something, it won’t be done properly. We squat so we can load our lower body in different ways to be able to lift things off the ground using the right muscles, get in and out of a chair, balance on each leg equally to prevent falling, recruit the muscles necessary to walk and run, etc. This ties into why we do them unweighted. It is a compound movement recruiting the hips, core, and the rest of the lower body. Squats build strength while simultaneously increasing the mobility of the lower body, additionally forming a strong stable core.
Next, why do we prescribe weighted squats? Just as its a compound movement for the lower body and core unweighted, once you add a dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell, you’ve now included the recruitment of muscles in the upper half of the body and the additional positive stress to the lower body. Holding something at the chest, by your side, or on your back requires the strength and stability of the upper body and core to hold that weight in place. The individuals’ lower body is now taking on more weight aside from their body which requires more precision and strength. This helps with challenging the body to be ready for any situation in which they might need the strength and mobility to squat at said times. This also puts more positive stress on the trunk to learn how to stabilize and create more strength.
So, if it’s leg day at Body One and you see squats on the board, get excited! You’re creating a strong foundation for your body by developing a strong core, increasing strength in your hips and legs, and creating more mobility and functionality in your whole body.
Crossfit, Overland Park. “The Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Squatting More - Overland Park CrossFit: Your CrossFit and Fitness Gym in Overland Park, KS.” overlandparkcrossfit.com/the-top-10-reasons-you-should-be-squatting-more/.
Stevenson, Shawn. “The Resting Squat - How Squatting Makes You More Human.” The Model Health Show, 14 May 2019, themodelhealthshow.com/resting-squat/.
“The Back Squat .” The Back Squat - Online Articles: National Council on Strength and Fitness, National Council on Strength and Fitness, www.ncsf.org/enew/articles/articles-backsquat.aspx.