Squats are one of the most popular and used exercises in the home exerciser’s arsenal.
They provide an excellent way to work out the body without having to use a lot of equipment or go to a gym, or even to get yourself a personal trainer.
Thanks to the simplicity of squats, there are hundreds of varieties of squat based exercises out there, each targeting different muscles and movements, each popular with a different person looking at their own style of fitness.
Body weight squats are one of these varieties, and they have become increasingly popular in recent years.
The problem is, that with so many different kinds of squats, people begin to question which type of squat is the best for them.
The body weight squat does appear to work your lower body muscles, but is it as good as everyone says it is? That is what we are here today to answer.
What Are Bodyweight Squats?
Body weight squats, known by their other name as ‘deep-knee squats’, are the kind of squats you do with your own body weight as the weight.
You do not use any weights, elastic bands, resistance bands, or any other equipment.
This form of exercise does require you to warm up and stretch beforehand, as otherwise, you could be injured. With that in mind, the way you accomplish the body weight squat is as follows:
- First, stand tall with your feet facing forward and place them slightly wider than your hips, with your toes curled downward and braced for the next movement. It is important that your core abdominal muscles are braced as well, as you will be using your core muscles in addition to your leg muscles.
- Inhale deeply, then push your hips up as you bend your knees and lower your torso. Keep moving your torso down until your thighs are parallel to level ground, your torso begins to flex forward, and your heels start lifting off the floor. If you proceed to the lowest squat position, then your torso and shinbone should be parallel in their shape.
- Exhale deeply, then push the middle of your foot into the ground, forcing your legs to straighten and rise up out of the squat. Your torso and your hips should rise at the same time.
- After this, your body should have resumed to your beginning position.
For those who wish to use the body weight squat as a regular form of exercise, you should note a few things.
The normal set amount for body weight squats is between 2 and 3 sets made up of 10 to 15 squats.
At first, doing this amount may take quite a few minutes, but once you have the motions down, it should take no longer than 10 minutes, which is perfect for the busy life most people have in today’s world.
Another thing to note is that with squats, you should be consistent, but you should also have at least one rest day a week from them.
They are a great everyday activity and doing them every day (almost) will make you good, yet you shouldn’t try for the same number each day, instead, incrementally increase as you are able to.
However, you do not want to overwork your body and squats can be quite exhausting, so take your time, make sure your form is perfect, and slowly increase your reps and sets.
Are Bodyweight Squats Beneficial?
Yes, body weight squats are incredibly beneficial to anyone at any exercise level.
It works out almost every muscle in your body, develops muscle strength and endurance, and will make you healthier as a result of doing it.
The squat is also a great cardio exercise and improves your overall metabolism.
It works the heart and the lungs, helping to improve your heart health and lung capacity, which in turn can increase circulation to various areas of the body.
It also improves your posture and coordination, making you a more coordinated and healthier person overall.
The best thing about squats is that it is what is called a ‘gateway exercise’.
This means that it is good for absolute beginners, and they can learn more about toning, exercising, and knowing their body’s limits through it, and eventually make them desire more and more exercises in general.
Even to exercise pros, squats are beneficial and are a great way to start any workout.
What Are The Mistakes People Make When Doing Bodyweight Squats?
Unfortunately, you cannot reap the benefits of this great exercise, if you don’t do it right, which happens fairly regularly with the full body squat.
This can not only make the workout less effective, but can injure you as well. Therefore, please remember not to do the following:
- Raising your feet off the ground at the wrong time – Your toes should always be against the ground and your heel should only rise when you are rising after exhaling. If you raise your feet at any other point, you are putting undue pressure on other parts of your body.
- Not bracing or using your core muscles – if you don’t use your core muscles, then your back has to take all the strain of your squat. Considering that it is not just the parts your back is connected to, but your full weight, then that could make you pull your back muscles easily.
- Knees in the wrong position – Your knees need to remain in the same position (facing forward, slightly wider than your hips) the whole time. Any other place may cause them to buckle under the pressure, and you will suffer as a result.
Avoid these mistakes, and you should be good to do a bodyweight squat.
When To Do Bodyweight Squats
Generally, bodyweight squats are done at the beginning of a workout or just before you get into really intense workouts. They are a great warmup exercise that helps warm up most parts of your body.
Not only that, but they are fairly low impact on your body.
Even though they work out a lot of muscles, if done properly, none of those muscles are overburdened. Instead, they all share a fair amount of the strain while not putting one particular muscle group under too much pressure.
There are also a lot of people who just do squats as their only type of workout.
They may get up in the morning and do a set of squats before going to work, and then at the end of the day, head to the gym for a much more intense workout.
That is the beauty of bodyweight squats. They can be done anywhere, at any time, and for a short period, making them ideal for everyone who just wants to work a little exercise into their life.
I hope you have enjoyed this article on body weight squats, and the benefits they have and have given you the motivation to work them into your daily routine or just try them out and work them in when you can.
Body weight squats can be done at any time during the day, and you can make them as intense as you want, however, we would suggest doing at most 3 sets of 20-25 squats per day.
They are an excellent way to get your daily exercise and can be done almost anywhere, making them one of the most convenient and beneficial exercises you can commit to.
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