Why is it that we personal trainers are always recommending squats for weight loss? What is it with that one move that seems to have us all so ready to work it into your routine? All right, I have a confession: I don’t always make this recommendation. Most of us don’t. But we often do, and it made a great title, so I stand by my declaration.
So, What is Up With the Squats for Weight Loss?
Confession aside, I do often tell people to do squats for weight loss. It’s not the only move I recommend, but I do like it as a part of a well-rounded routine. There are a number of great reasons for this. Some of the most obvious ones are the following:
- They’re easy to do properly. They’re beginner-level at their most basic.
- They can be adjusted to suit virtually any fitness level.
- They are a great lower-body exercise for strengthening several important muscles.
- They are also a flexibility exercise
Which Muscles Do Squats for Weight Loss Target?
When you’re doing squats for weight loss – or any other purpose, for that matter – you’ll be targeting your glutes, quadriceps and several other combinations of muscles. Here’s why we personal trainers feel that’s important to your efforts to reach a goal on the bathroom scale.
Your glutes are the second largest muscle group in the body (behind the quads). By adding strength to your glutes, you’ll not only help to tone them so that you’ve got a better shape underneath when you burn away upper layers of fat, but it will also help you with balance and performance when doing other workouts. You’ll use these muscles in most workouts and physical activities that you do. By working them with squats for weight loss, you improve your performance all around and reduce your risk of injury. That way, you’re less likely to face setbacks and more likely to see progress.
As I just mentioned, your quadriceps are the largest muscle group in your body. When they’re strengthened and toned, they become massive calorie-burning powerhouses, particularly when you’re active but even when you’re idle. They’re about twice the size of your glutes, so you can see why they’ll burn through so much energy while you’re doing squats for weight loss…or pretty much anything else.
Other Muscle Activated by Squats for Weight Loss
Other areas that are activated when you are doing this exercise include those in your core, hops, calves and hamstrings. These are all used in the activity of squats, and all prepare you to take on other exercises while burning their own calories as well.