Squats: Why they are so effective and how to do them properly

If there’s that one magic exercise that can challenge most of the muscles in your body, it’s the squat. It requires several muscles in your upper and lower body to work together simultaneously, making it an integral part of any holistic workout. Here are seven reasons to add squats to your exercise routine and do them several times each week.

Manuel Neuer performs a squat with VAHA motion tracking

1. Squats strengthen your whole body & boost your performance

Squats have the advantage of activating a variety of muscles with just one exercise. Above all, squats train your lower body, namely legs and glutes, but they also work your lower back and abdominal muscles. As a result, you strengthen your entire body and improve the synergy of individual muscle groups. Adding squats to your workouts makes you fitter for the challenges of everyday life and boosts your performance in sports such as swimming, tennis or athletics. For instance, you will be able to run faster and jump higher through your squat training.

2. Squats burn calories fast

The more muscles you engage in an exercise, the more calories you burn. Since squats also build strength, making your muscles more efficient each time you squat, they also consume more energy even when you are resting. Therefore, your resting metabolic rate increases, even when you are not exercising or otherwise active throughout the day. In short: squats are the ideal exercise to crush calories! 

3. Squats help build muscles

On top of helping you to burn calories, squats also create an anabolic (muscle building) environment in the body. The reason: the more muscles you activate during your workout, the greater the hormone release in the body. These hormones include growth hormones, which stimulate protein metabolism and support muscle growth. Since squats activate a large number of muscles simultaneously, they are an ideal exercise if you want to build muscle mass quickly and effectively.

4. Squats are beneficial for knee health

Contrary to many prejudices, squats can improve your knee joint health – when performed correctly! They strengthen the surrounding muscles of the knee and thus promote its support and stability. Squats also ensure that the cartilage tissue is better supplied with nutrients, making your knees more resilient.

5. Squats improve your balance & strengthen your joints

Incorporating squats in your overall workout routine also helps strengthen your bones, ligaments and connective tissue. Not only does your balance improve significantly, but your joints are also supported and relieved. 

6. Squats increase your flexibility

Squats are a great exercise to improve the mobility of your hips, knees and ankles. A great side effect is that your increased flexibility and range of motion will reduce pain in your lower back and knees.

7. Squats can be done anywhere and without equipment.

The best workout routine is the one you actually do! Squats are particularly useful for this since you can integrate them into your daily routine anytime and anywhere. No matter if you do them in the morning when you get up or during your lunch break at the office. You don’t need much space or special training equipment for squats. Squats are the perfect exercise to incorporate into your daily routine, even if you’re travelling or have a busy schedule.

Couple training in front of the VAHA fitness mirror

How to do squats properly

Squatting properly is critical to ensure you maximise the benefits and prevent injury. To perform a basic squat using only your own body weight, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with toes slightly turned outward and your weight evenly distributed over the whole foot. 
  2. Keep your back straight the whole time (a slight arch is allowed), engage your abdominals, and your head pointing in line with your spine.
  3. You can clasp your hands behind your head or fold your fingers in front of your chest. 
  4. Start to shift your weight back into your heels while pushing your hips back into a sitting position. Press your knees slightly outwards. Go down as far as you can until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Your knees should remain over your second toe.
  5. Make sure that you don’t hunch your back as you do this.
  6. Tighten up your core to stabilise yourself and then push yourself back up to the starting position. 
  7. As you come up, engage your glutes and push your hips slightly forward. 
  8. Inhale during the downward movement and exhale during the upward movement.

Motion Tracking with VAHA

The key to getting all the benefits of squatting while avoiding injuries is performing the movement with good technique. To ensure the safety and efficiency of your home workout with VAHA, we have developed our brand new feature: motion tracking. This AI-supported technology captures your movements, counts your repetitions and gives you instant digital feedback to help you improve and correct your execution immediately.

Would you like to test the new feature? Try VAHA for free for 30 days!

Subscribe and get the latest news from VAHA