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Why Squat: Benefits, Risks, and Modifications

Updated: Jan 8

Squatting is a simple, yet highly effective exercise that can provide a wide range of benefits for the body. Here are three reasons why you should incorporate squats into your workout routine:

  1. Improved lower body strength: Squats are a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups at the same time. The main muscles targeted during a squat include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. By strengthening these muscles, you can improve your overall lower body strength, making everyday activities such as lifting, climbing stairs, and running easier.

  2. Increased flexibility: Squats can help increase flexibility in the hip and ankle joints. As you sink down into a squat, you are stretching the muscles in the back of your legs and hips. This can help improve your range of motion, making it easier to perform other exercises and activities.

  3. Improved balance: Squats require you to maintain balance while lowering and raising your body weight. This can help improve your overall balance and stability, reducing your risk of falls and injuries.

While squats offer many benefits, it's important to be aware of the potential risks associated with this exercise. Here are three potential risks to consider:

  1. Knee injury: If your form is incorrect, squats can put unnecessary strain on the knee joint. To avoid this, make sure you are keeping your knees aligned with your toes and not letting them cave inward as you lower into the squat.

  2. Lower back injury: It's important to maintain a neutral spine while squatting to avoid straining the lower back. Make sure you are engaging your core and not rounding your back as you lower into the squat.

  3. Ankle injury: If you have limited flexibility in the ankle joint, squats may be difficult to perform. To avoid straining your ankles, you can try using a raised surface such as a step or block to elevate your heels.

If you are new to squatting or have any injuries or limitations, there are several regressions and progressions you can try to modify the exercise to fit your needs. Here are a couple examples: