At Body Planners we pride ourselves on delivering challenging, fun and effective programs through the use of up to date technologies and training theories. We also utilise exercises and techniques that have survived from the dark ages. This makes them timeless, priceless a worthy addition to any training regime. Welcome to the 7 exercises we think are magnificent.
Magnificent 7 exercises – the squat
Here are the 7 reasons why Squats made the list!
1. They build muscle throughout the entire body. This is because to perform a squat properly it incorporates the use of your calf’s, hamstrings, quads, glutes and core muscles. By mass this is a significant amount of muscle. It is proven that the more muscle you use, the more testosterone your nervous system will release. Testosterone is the bodies natural growth hormone and therefore, the more testosterone released, the more growth can occur.
2. They make real life activities easier. This is because squats strengthen the body and condition it to be able to cope with load. If your body becomes competent with greater loads, it will move more effectively and efficiently when the load is no longer there. When done properly squats promote good balance and healthy mobility, but more on that later.
3. They help burn more fat. Similarly to the point about releasing testosterone, the more muscle you can use in a single movement or within a workout, the more energy you will use. The more energy you use the more calories you will burn, adding to the daily calorie deficit desired to achieve effective fat loss.
4. They help promote good mobility and balance. This is because your motor skills come in to play here. Whilst performing a squat there are working muscles, secondary muscles and fixators all working together to get the job done. The fixators are told by the nervous system to fire thousands of times per second to hold a good posture as your body moves in and out of balance. At the same time the primary and secondary muscles work effectively to allow a controlled negative phase to the bottom of the rep, and a powerful concentric phase pushing powerfully all the way to the top.
5. They help prevent injuries. This is because they help strengthen the connective tissue as well as the muscle fibres within each muscle. The majority of sports injuries are strains, which are a result of weak tissue and fibres over reaching their capabilities. Poor mobility also adds to this risk, if your joints can operate over a greater range of movement, the relative tissue will be flexible enough and strong enough to do so under load. The greater the range of movement, the lower the risk is for being subject to a strain or pull.
6. They help develop sports performance. This is because of the way they promote mobility and reduce the risk of injury. With improvements in mobility, the effective surface area of the muscle means your body can transport oxygenated blood and lactic acid in and out of muscles more effectively. It also means recovery times are reduced because your body can absorb nutrients at a higher rate. Squats also develop power (which is the combination of speed and strength) thus, giving the body greater ability to move maximally for short periods of time such as power lifting or sprinting, or at a lower intensity for extended periods of time such as marathon running or distance cycling.
7. They work the core as much as the legs. This is because under load your core activates to keep your trunk and spine in a strong position. We hear of many people who feel no core engagement whilst doing a squat, but taking a nice deep breath, holding it until you have achieved as fuller depth as possible before exhaling up to the top will ensure your core muscles are subjected to the work load that your legs are.