Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Squats - King of Exercises- Part I Multi-Purpose

Squats are the single most important exercise to work all muscles and build full body strength. If there is only one exercise you do, it should be deep squats. Squats are referred to as the “hormonal bomb” as they release the most anabolic hormones.

There are many squat variations and any age/gender/experience level can get started (I will go into this in next posting). The goal should be to work your way up to performing them with a barbell. Squats not only build the legs, but also develop most of the upper body. Squats also require and build good balance and flexibility.

"You get greater overall muscle and strength gains from the squat than from any other exercise….Squats create an overall anabolic environment in the body that maximizes gains from other exercises [in your workout]" says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut, as described in Men’s Health.

Old school trainers try to tell us that squats are bad for the knees. However, most injuries are because of weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. A recent article, "The 15 Benefits of Squats" by Josh Vales, discusses some of the studies conducted: Research by Auburn University actually proved that regular squatting improved knee stability and strengthened connective tissue. Physiologists at the Mayo Clinic have found that squats actually place less stress on your knees than do leg extensions. Researchers at Ball State University state that leg strength is critical for maintaining mobility as we age. There is no better exercise at maintain and increasing leg strength than the squat.

Whether your goal is to lean out, build muscle, functional fitness, preserving your body as you age or any combination….. the squat is necessary if you are serious about your goal.

Stay tuned……..

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