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Squats are certainly exercises that attract a lot of attention from bodybuilders, athletes and ordinary people. Although a large number of people do squats almost every workout, a small number of them devote enough time to analyzing this complex movement. Many of them just follow the theory that more squats means bigger leg muscles, and they are not at all aware of how they can develop their muscles most effectively with this exercise. Find out below what are the advantages and disadvantages of squats, the main lifting options and what is the right way to perform this exercise to achieve the best results.

Pros and cons of squats

When it comes to squats, there are different views. Some people have a very simple opinion about squats, more precisely that the results of exercise are sore back, knees and big buttocks. On the other hand, many bodybuilders are advocates of this exercise because its performance achieves excellent and tangible results and this exercise affects many muscles. Leg exercises such as squats on the Hack device and push-ups are a safe alternative when it comes to increasing thigh muscle mass. Furthermore, proponents of squats claim that exercise stimulates metabolism, which leads to a rapid increase in muscle mass.

Between these arguments for and against squats, somewhere in the middle, is the real truth, but it speaks more for than against this exercise. Squats do not change the metabolism, and since they are one of the most complex exercises they lead to an increase in mass in more important muscles. For example, lifting affects the quadriceps and buttocks, but at the same time some load is transferred to muscles such as the buttocks, abdominal muscles and spinal stabilizer. Squats are recommended for most people because of the comprehensive development of strength and muscles of the lower body. However, one should constantly keep in mind the fact that squats are one of the most dangerous exercises if not performed properly. Exercisers who do heavy squats often have back or knee muscle injuries. This exercise is best done with a training partner.

8 tips for performing squats

  1. It is very important to warm up well before starting this exercise. Do one set with small weights, stand in the right position, assess your strength and prepare your legs for the load.
  2. The bar must rest behind the neck, on the trapezius muscle, the position must be comfortable because that way you avoid lifting weights with your arms or shoulders.
  3. The feet should be turned slightly outwards, in order to tighten the thigh muscle as much as possible. The distance between the heels should be about 20 centimeters, because a smaller distance does not help to isolate the thigh muscle, it only increases the load on the back.
  4. Many exercisers find it easier to maintain as high a weight position and balance as possible if they are 2.5 cm thick under their feet. However, it is a matter of personal taste, choice and mechanics. Try a few variations with less weight and choose the one that suits you best.
  5. Successful squats are based on the vertical lifting of the upper body relative to the ground. Head raised, look straight. When lifting weights, tighten the muscles that stabilize the spine and pull the shoulders back. It is quite normal for the lower opposition to lean forward a little, but try to keep it to a minimum. Find the position that allows you to perform the exercise correctly.
  6. Keep your knees slightly outward when lowering and lifting, just like your feet, because if they are turned inwards when lifting, you can easily injure yourself.
  7. You must take a parallel or slightly lower position before lifting, because if your thighs are below the ground parallel to the ground, then your back or knees may stretch.If you do not reach a parallel position, it is a sign that you are working too much or that the exercise is not correct. For starters, you can put a box behind your back to touch when you reach the required squat depth, but use this help with less weight. When you can work at the right angle without the box, do not use the aid at high loads.
  8. Lifting and lowering movements must be uninterrupted and directed. These movements should be performed at a moderate and even speed. If you have to lower your weight from a run or if you have to work very hard to stand up straight then unfortunately you will not increase your strength or muscle mass

Proper squats

For all life habits, it is difficult to change them if the brain fixes them. The same thing applies to the technique of performing squats and with this exercise it is much harder to make a change, because then you have to exercise with less weights. If you decide to make some serious and big changes, then you have to start almost everything from scratch, think about everything well and renew what you already know about squats. It would be best, in that situation, to follow the 8 tips previously explained. First of all, you need to master the technique of proper execution with a bar, without it. It is very important that the exercise is performed with a much lower weight than usual, until the perfect performance of the exercise begins. This may seem impossible at first glance and it takes a long time to achieve perfect technique, but in the long run your muscles will be very grateful for your patience.

Proposed training program (eight-week program)

Series

Number of repetitions

2

15+

1

10

1

8+

2

6+

1

4+

1

10

Do this program once a week for 8 weeks. Work until your muscles are exhausted and use weights that you can easily do at least 10 reps with.

Use adequate squat equipment

Footwear : For heavy squats, it is very important that the feet and heels are supported, and the ideal footwear is one that is suitable for weightlifting, basketball or running.

Belt: For heavy squats, it is very important to wear a strong belt to protect the spinal stabilizers. It must be firmly placed but at the same time comfortable to wear.

Bandages: Bandages are usually used in case of previous knee injuries and are very necessary. It is justified to wear them only in such situations and they are not recommended for other people because the bandage can help you use the rush when performing exercises.

Partner: When doing squats, especially with heavy weights, always have a training partner with you.

Number of sets and repetitions

Doing heavy squats in sets of 7 to 8 reps is very exhausting, so include them in your training program only once a week. The advice is that, even when your goal is to maximize muscle mass, after exercising with heavy weights, do the next workout with medium weights. When performing squats with medium weights, you can use pyramid series, using gradually more weights. When performing the most difficult series, have someone by your side to help you.Below four reps is not effective for any set, unless you want to test your strength. When doing squats with moderately heavy or light weights, it is best to do 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Squats are not the only exercise for developing the thighs, and if you are not able or do not want to master the proper technique of performing the squat exercise, it is much better to choose some other exercises that can develop and strengthen the thigh muscle. However, for both beginners and advanced, squats remain the most effective exercise for developing the thigh muscle, an exercise that increases overall lower body strength. If you master the correct technique of performing this exercise, the results will be very visible and positive.

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