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The Squat

The Squat

The squat. Hmmmmmm, would it be the number one exercise for overall power and strength? Well if it’s not number one it’s right up there.

It’s a leg exercise of course, but it’s also so much more. Once again the magic forces of synergy are at play when you squat, which is why I like it. I won’t say love it, squats are too hard to love, but you can certainly fall in love with the results.

The squat works not only the legs, but the entire posterior chain. Your calves, your hamstrings, your glutes (the butt) you thighs, the lower back, the core, even the upper back gets a workout. There is even to some extent an effect on your arms, simply because they have to hold the weight.

Add to that the the anabolic effect – stimulating the production of testosterone and growth hormone that is commonplace among heavy compound exercises and you have an exercise that can not be ignored.

Of course there is one big problem with squats; they are damned hard. Many people who go to the gym like pretend workouts. That’s one where they do exercises that can only be described as “sissy” (is that even still a word?) and think they are doing a workout.

For legs that mean doing stuff like leg extensions. What a waste of time. You see, I like to get results. And if you’ve read any of my other posts you will know I like to get them with the minimum of wasted effort. I would consider doing 5 sets of leg extensions the epitome of wasted effort. Why do an exercise that does nothing but work a single muscle group when you can do an exercise that works nearly your entire body in one go?

To me it becomes a question of, do you want to train effectively or do you want bragging rights about how many hours you spend working out?

So anyway back to the squat. The video posted shows the basic exercise. One point I would like to make is that in order to get the full benefit of the squat you need to squat deep enough, since you work more muscles that way. I recommend putting a box underneath you that you touch each time you squat, just to get an idea of where you want to be.

Squatting is great for any sport you can think of because it develops (the term bodybuilders hate) functional strength. I can’t think of too many sports where a little extra leg drive will hurt. The posterior chain and the core are the key areas to develop for any sport that may require a little extra brute force.

A word of warning though. I wouldn’t go super heavy if I were you. In fact i always recommend that one workout per week is light and the other moderately heavy. Trust me. Your joints will thank you. From your knees to your spine.

 

 

About The Author

Shaun

A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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