benefits of squats for men
Squats are perhaps one of the essential exercises for your lower body strength. There isn’t a strong man without powerful legs, but squats go beyond that. What muscles do all sports require if you think about it this way? Yep, leg muscles!
Squats put many people off because they are difficult or seemingly impossible to perform. Before attempting any squat form, you should warm up first to ensure you don’t injure yourself. Take 5 minutes to stretch out your thighs and calf musculature.
It is also wise to warm up before doing heavy back squats as these have been known to cause severe injuries if done incorrectly. Light front or box squats can be used here if needed.
Once you have warmed up, you should attempt the deep squats first.
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Deep Squat (Hip) The first type of squat is the ‘deep’ or hip squat. Put your feet shoulder-width apart and point them slightly outwards, as this will help to engage your thighs and glute muscles. Keep your back straight at all times, and make sure not to lean forward as this can cause strain on your lower back.
Take a breath in, sit down and keep lowering yourself until your knees are bent at 90 degrees, and you’re sitting on top of your heels with a slight arch in your back. Your legs should be almost entirely resting on the floor while keeping your chest upright.
Keep that position for 2 seconds, then exhale through pursed lips and push yourself back to the starting position. You can hold the bottom position for a few seconds as you get stronger.
This squat is excellent for your hips, glutes, and thighs.
Box Squat (Quadriceps) The second type of squat is the box squat which mainly targets your quadriceps muscles. Place a sturdy box or bench behind you and stand in front of it with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointing slightly outwards.
Again, keep your back straight at all times and don’t lean forward, as this can cause injury. Take a breath in, sit down on the bench, keep lowering yourself until your knees are bent at 90 degrees, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Be careful not to hit the bench with your knees on the way up, and don’t lock your knees at the top of the movement.
This squat is excellent for strengthening your quadriceps muscles and suitable for developing explosive speed and power in the legs.
Back Squat (Lower Back, Quadriceps) The third type of squat is the back squat which engages most of your leg muscles while strengthening your lower back, especially when you get stronger. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, pointing slightly outwards.
Keep a straight back and bend forward from your hips until you get a 90-degree angle between your upper thigh and torso while keeping hips below parallel to the floor. Don’t go any deeper than this, as this will put too much strain on your knees.
You may want to lower the box or bench height to do these deeper squats. Keep the weight on your heels and ensure you don’t rise onto your toes when squatting.
This exercise is excellent for developing strength in your legs, glutes, and hips, ideal for power sports such as sprinting and football.
Weighted Back Squat (Lower Back, Quadriceps) The fourth type of squat is the ‘weighted’ back squat because you will add weights to increase resistance. This will further strengthen your quads and glutes along with many other leg muscles.
Just like with the previous squat form, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then bend forward from your hips until you get a 90-degree angle between your upper thigh and torso. Keep the weight distributed mainly on your heels with toes in contact with the floor, just like in the box squat.
From this position, take small steps about 2 feet in front of you to shoulder-width apart while keeping your back straight. If needed, hold onto your thighs or use a squat rack for stability during these steps.
Having finished taking those steps, lower yourself down into another deep squat by bending at the knees and sitting backward towards your glutes/adductors (inner thighs) so that you end up with a semi-squat position where both of your legs are bent but only resting lightly on the floor.
Make sure you keep your back straight and don’t lean too far forward. Finally, drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
This weighted squat is excellent for athletes who need strength in their hips, glutes, and legs for powerful movements.
There you have it! Four types of squats will target different muscles in your legs. So next time you hit the gym or weight room, make sure to include at least one of these squats in your workout routine for a well-rounded leg workout!
Squats are a great exercise because they work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. They’re also a functional exercise because they help with everyday activities such as sitting down and standing up from a chair.
There are four main types of squats: the front squat, the box squat, the back squat, and the weighted back squat. Each one targets different muscles in the legs, so it’s essential to include at least one of them in your workout routine.