It’s a move that can be done anywhere, doesn’t require any special equipment, and has some major benefits. Instead of thinking of squats as dreaded exercises, think about incorporating them into your everyday routine. Bending over to pick something up? We all know bending from the knees is much better for our bodies than hinging forward, so get in the habit of squatting on a daily basis. According to sports therapist/chronic pain expert and Crossfit strength coach Dr. Chris Stepien, daily squats will help you mentally and will even give you better yearly check-ups with your primary physician. Good for more than just your lower body, squats can help you reach your personal health goals. Here are five reasons you should incorporate squats into your daily routine.
1. Squats prevent injuries
“Most injuries are caused due to weak muscles and soft tissue (ligaments and connective tissue). Squats improve flexibility and balance which simultaneously strengthens your ankles and hips,” Stepien explains.
2. Squats make daily chores easier
Stepien says squats can help make everyday life easier. “Squats are considered a functional exercise, meaning they enable your body to perform real-life activities easier. Our bodies were designed to be hunter-gatherers. Squats strengthen your body, making it move more efficiently in today’s real world.”
3. Squats promote regularity
“In order for your body to function properly, internal organs need to perform at their optimum. Squats help your colon by improving your body’s fluid and nutrition distribution to all your tissues, organs and glands,” he says.
4. Squats help maintain mobility
“As you get older, your body relies on your leg and core strength to keep you going. Every squat works out your core to promote balance and improves communication between your brain and your muscle groups. This helps to prevent falls,” Stepien says.
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5. Squats offer a full-body workout
“There are few exercises that work the entire body like squats. Squats strengthen your upper and lower body,” he explains. Additionally, Stepien recommends the following daily quota goal for air squats:
- Not conditioned: 10 air squats
- Fit but not cross-trained: 25 air squats
- Fit and cross-trained: 40 air squats
Stand up straight and tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly out. Before you start descending your butt to the ground, spread the floor apart with your feet (without moving your feet), engaging your glutes to protect your knees and ankles. Begin by moving your butt backwards as if reaching behind yourself for a chair. Bring your butt as low to the ground as possible, without any painful symptoms and without your knees and ankles caving in toward the midline of your body. Stand back up by pushing your heels into the ground, and stand tall.