6 Major benefits of doing Barbell Squats
You should do the squats seriously, religiously, and put your maximum effort into it. When you do that you will tap into a wide spectrum of benefits that squats have to offer other than building a stronger pair of legs.
Let’s see the six major benefits of barbell squats.
1. It’s a full body exercise
Yes, the primary target of squats is your quadriceps and glutes along with hamstrings and calves. But that doesn’t mean that the benefits are limited to those muscles only.
Imagine that after a shopping excursion with your wife, you had to carry two heavy bags of groceries from the shop to the car. When you reached your car with those two heavy loads your wife suddenly asks you, “Why are you panting? You walked such a small distance.”
How would you feel being unappreciated for all the effort you put into holding those heavy bags while walking?
That same feeling comes to your upper body muscles when you say that squat is just for the legs. You will only be able to squat the weight which you are able to hold with your upper body. So the moving part in the squats may be the legs but the muscles of the entire body are working.
2. It helps to boost testosterone
Testosterone is an anabolic hormone which helps in increasing the muscle mass and burning the body fat. Doing barbell squats, of moderate to high intensity, will release a gush of testosterone.
This creates an anabolic environment inside your body. That means it gives your body with the ability to gain muscles not just in the legs but all over the body. Also, burning the unwanted body fat at the same time.
3. Works on your core muscles
Doing barbell squats is a very good way to train your core muscles. The function of the core muscles is to keep the body stable and rigid under the weight. During the eccentric (down) and concentric (up) phase of the squat, the core muscles keep the lower back in the neutral position and prevent your spine from collapsing forward.
Without an active involvement of all the core muscles, it is impossible to do heavy barbell squats.
4. Helps burn fat from the entire body
Body fat is the unused energy stored in the body. Whenever there is a greater demand for energy in the body, the fat from this source will provide the energy.
We already know that the squat is a full body movement and it demands a lot of energy. That means doing squats will make you burn the fat from the entire body not just hips and thighs.
5. Builds stronger bones
The body works on the principle of use it or lose it. You have to provide a reason for keeping your bones stronger. When you are doing barbell squats, it not only puts stress on the muscles but it also puts a good amount of load on your bones. This is a healthy kind of stress that the bones require to become stronger.
Unused bones get weaker with age. This can lead to osteoporosis (the bones becoming brittle and fragile).
6. Improves your running ability
Running takes its toll on the knee joints as it is an impact activity. Meaning the knee joints are taking a beating with every stride.
Squat increases the strength of the knee joints along with strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee joint. This will keep the knee joints safe from the onslaught it has to endure during the running. Also, it makes your running more efficient as you will have stronger muscles which can generate more power.
The only caveat is to perform the squats properly. It’s also difficult to learn because most people lack the kinesthetic sense. You will not know by yourself if you have your back in a neutral position or whether you have pushed your hips back enough. You will have to have a good trainer or an experienced training partner to keep a watch on your movement.
In the next article, we will see the proper way to execute a barbell squat.