10 Benefits and Tips for Squats

Barbell squats are without question the king of all leg exercises, they’re highly productive with a long list of strength and health benefits. Here is a list of 10 Benefits and Tips for Squats combined with informative training facts about this powerful exercise.

1) Squats aren’t just for bodybuilders, powerlifters, Olympic weightlifters and strongman competitors. Sprinters, wrestlers, rugby players, judo and MMA athletes, cyclists and many other athletes use squats to build massive amounts of strength, power and size.

2) The barbell squat is ideal for minimalist training sessions. For trainers with time constraints, doing a squat session along with one or two other exercises can be very effective. For example, a workout consisting of only squats and pull ups. The many muscles engaged in the squat means that you don’t need to do a huge selection of exercises in any one session.

3) The 20 rep squat program is one of the most effective mass and strength producing methods ever devised. High rep squats and pullovers are performed twice a week along with a few other basic exercises such as the bench press and the barbell row. Adding weight to the squat sets at each session requires a strong mindset and high levels of determination.

4) Your other lifting exercises will benefit from a squat workout. Performing squats first in your training session prepares the body and mind for hard work. Super high levels of self-confidence and mental focus are your rewards as you increase the loads and develop.

5) Squats work well in the same session as deadlifts. Several sets of squats before deadlifting warms most of the muscles used for deadlifting and spares your grip strength for the deadlift sets.

6) If you want strong hands, it’s a good idea to train your grip in squat sessions. Doing grip work in between sets of squats is a great way to build hand strength and makes effective use of the rest time between sets.

7) Squats are excellent for conditioning work. Sets of 50 rep squats and as many reps as possible within a time frame are examples of high rep squat work. Squats fit nicely into barbell complexes too.

8) Age is no barrier. Powerlifting federations have master classes with competitors who are over 50, 60 and even 70 or 80! Squats are one of three lifts performed in powerlifting (bench press and deadlift being the other two). Likewise, some very young athletes are found competing in powerlifting.

9) There are plenty of tools that can be combined with barbell squats to vary the stimulation: The ‘Manta Ray’ device, the ‘Top Squat’ device, bands and chains are examples.

10) For those who don’t want to do or don’t like back squats, many other barbell variations can be highly productive: front squats, Zercher squats, hack squats and landmine squats are some alternative choices.

Make sure to include barbell squats in your training programme if you want to gain real muscle, strength, power including a massive boost to your health, confidence and self-esteem. Happy squatting!  How much do you lift and what’s been your experience with this great exercise?  Feel free to let us know!

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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