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5+ Benefits of Squatting and How to Prepare

When you squat, with your heels firmly on the ground and your back nice and straight, you will feel your hamstrings, quads, achilles tendons, lower back, and groin gently release all the tension of being a member of today’s chair-sitting, heel-wearing society.

By
Brock Armstrong
9-minute read
Episode #391

4. Squatting improves your endurance.

I have heard the concern from many endurance athletes that squatting (along with other forms of resistance training) will make them bulky and therefore slow them down. Well, once again (and I find myself saying this a lot about this bulking-up notion) this simply isn’t true.

When runners include resistance training in their running regimen, marathoners actually improve their running economy. In cyclists, even though their quads do plenty of work already, endurance cyclists improve their efficiency when they include weighted hip flexion strength training in their program. Other reviews of resistance training in endurance runners and road cyclists have confirmed these results.

5. Squatting improves your bones.

A 2013 study on postmenopausal women found that weighted squats can help people with osteoporosis or osteopenia improve their bone mineral density, especially in the spine and neck. And not just a little bit—the study showed an increase of 2.9% in the spine and 4.9% in the neck, after only 12 weeks. Not to mention the added benefit of boosting their overall strength levels by 150%. Again, that was after only 12 weeks of squatting so imagine what would happen if you make squatting part of your everyday life.

Squatting in Everyday Life

Hold onto your sweatband because what I am about to say may shock you: squatting doesn’t have to be an exercise.

A common issue that I encounter while doing research for these QDT articles is that most of the studies out there look at these body movements as an exercise, rather than as a way of moving through the world. But remember that squatting, in particular, has taken on many forms around the world and throughout history. It’s not just for the guy grunting and heaving away in the corner of the gym.

OK. Hold onto your sweatband because what I am about to say may shock you: squatting doesn’t have to be an exercise. The more and more that I think of our health, wellness, and mobility being built outside the gym rather than inside it, I see the squat as more of what I would call a mobility maximizer.

In fact, if you can get so comfortable with it that you can relax at the bottom of the squat position and actually use it as a way to take-a-load-off, your general wellness and fitness performance will likely improve.

Everyday squatting happens:

  • When you are standing up out of a chair.

  • When you are lowering yourself onto the toilet seat.

  • When you are picking up the nacho you dropped on the floor.

  • When you are chatting with a child.

  • When you are getting eye to eye with a four-legged friend.

It all counts, it is all awesome, and it is all a part of being a healthy, mobile, and fit meat sack on this evermore static and comfortable blue planet.

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About the Author

Brock Armstrong

Brock Armstrong is a certified AFLCA Group Fitness Leader with a designation in Portable Equipment, NCCP and CAC Triathlon Coach, and a TnT certified run coach. He is also on the board of advisors for the Primal Health Coach Institute and a guest faculty member of the Human Potential Institute. Do you have a fitness question? Leave a message on the Get-Fit Guy listener line. Your question could be featured on the show.