So you’ve heard of the 30 day squatting challenge, and everyone keeps telling you that squatting is good for the gluteus max right? But really, what’s all the fuss about this fairly simple exercise? And apart from the fact that you’ve heard it so many times… why should you actually be doing it?
What happens When You Squat?
When you do it correctly, squatting actually targets many different muscle groups. It’s not just the glutes that benefit, it’s also your quads, hamstrings and even back muscles. If you are loading the squat with a weight above your shoulders, this is also going to target your core really well.
As you squat, the focus on the muscles around your hips and knees means that you’re in a better position when doing sports that involve running and jumping. Having a stronger lower body gives you more stability, and with this you become faster and you can jump higher. Overall, you can function and perform at your best. You’re also less likely to develop an injury due to the increased strength of muscle, think of it as extra padding! This is also a direct result of being stronger.
If you’re regularly squatting, you should notice an improvement in your flexibility. This is especially true for hip flexibility, the further down in the squat you go, the more flexible you become. This is great news since flexibility is often what enables or limits us to do other types of exercises or sport. But don’t be tempted to over-do it, or you could end up pulling a muscle. Build up to things slowly.
Finally, yes ladies! The squat is going to help you improve your butt. The muscle you build in that area will give you a larger, firmer backside. Plus, more muscle means you’ll burn more body fat. How’s that for an added bonus?
How to Squat Correctly
Now this is a very important point. If you’re not squatting properly, then all the benefits mentioned above are not going to happen. Squatting is actually very difficult to get right unless you know what you’re doing.
Start with your feet about shoulder width apart and as you move down into the squat, make sure you are doing the following things:
- Your knees should not go past your toes. Try to imagine there is an invisible wall in front of you and you have your toes touching it.
- Your thighs need to be parallel to the floor, or as parallel as you can get them.
- Your back needs to be straight, do not be tempted to arch it over.
- Keep your core tight throughout the exercise.
If you’re squatting correctly, you should not experience any knee or lower back pain. If you are suffering from any pain in these areas, or anywhere else, you need to fix your squatting technique.
The best thing about squatting is that it can it be done by almost anyone, anywhere. You don’t need to be in great shape squatting with heavy weights to get results. If you simply start introducing this exercise into your daily routine, you’ll notice the effects within a few weeks. The famous 30 day squat challenge is a great idea if you’re feeling committed.