Squat is beneficial for any kind of purpose, whether you want to grow, cut or gain strength, squats will get you there.
The squat has a strong strengthening effect, it will make your whole body stronger while having a positive effect on all your basic lifts.
Squat is a joint exercise that uses most of the body’s muscle group; as a result of large amount of muscle groups are used, causes the body to increase the production of anabolic hormones.
To gain muscle with squat comes with huge benefits such as;
Squat benefits # 1 – squats are a highly functional lift
A squat is a basic movement pattern that people have been practicing for millions of years, strength developed from squats can be highly efficient not only in the gym but can also carry over into daily activities.
Squat benefits # 2- squats activates many muscle groups
Squats activates majority of muscle groups simultaneously such as the quads, glute, hamstrings, spinal erectors, abs, oblique and calves.
Squat benefits # 3- squats improves athletic performance
Gaining strength and stamina in squats is an important way to improve your athletic performance because it allows you to build the strength of the hip extensor which can be used in sports in sprinting activities and vertical jumps.
Squat benefits # 4- squats reduces the risk of injury
Incorporating squats into your overall exercise program also helps to strengthen muscles, tendons and bones which will reduce the risk of injury.
Squat benefits # 5 – squats strengthens the core
During the entire squat movement, the spinal muscles work hard to keep the body upright and support back, this improves the overall core strength which carries over to improve strength and performance of other exercises, protects the lower back from injury and stimulates muscle hypertrophy in the obliques and abdominals.
Squat benefits # 6 – squats builds big legs
Squats focus on developing big legs; builds lower body strength and muscle mass.
Squats benefits # 7 – squats builds strength
Squares are good indicator of strength which is why it is among the top 3s of the power lifting competition. No other lift builds up muscle mass in general like squat. It is a real measure of strength.
Variations of squats
To gain muscle with squat, you have to incorporate different variations into your routine. There are many variations of this amazing exercise that you should incorporate into your routine.
The back squats is one of the traditional mass building exercise for the lower body developing all four quadriceps head. The back squats work well for improving athletic performance as it works all muscle groups.
How to do the back squats
- Step under a loaded barbell in a squat rack, let the barbell rest across the back of the shoulders. Hold firmly onto the bar, raise up to lift off the rack.
- keep your chest up and a straight back, bend your knees and lower yourself until the thighs are parallel to the floor, pause when you reach parallel.
- Then drive through the heels to stand back to the starting position.
Note: The position of the feet determines the area of the thighs you work on while doing squats. Wide stance works the inside the thighs, while with a narrow stance works the outside more.
The front squats emphasize the quadriceps more than the traditional back squats but still strengthens the glutes and the hamstrings muscle as well. It forces the body in an upright position of the thoracic extension which develop posture, spine, scapular adductor and leg muscles.
How to do a front squat
- step up to the barbell in the squat rack, bring your arms under the bar, letting it rest under the shoulder.
- Cross the arms and grasp the bar with your arms to control it, keeping the elbows high.
- Lift the weight off the rack, take a deep breath, tighten the core keeping a straight back and your chest up.
- Bend your knees lowering Yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Drive yourself through the mid-foot to stand up out of the squats.
The name has nothing to do with the gender of people who perform this exercise. In short, real men do this exercise. The sissy squats place more emphasis on the quads by most of the involvement of the glutes and hamstrings, and also strengthening the core and building the hip flexors.
How to do the sissy squats
- Stand upright with feet shoulder with apart holding on to a bench or other support.
- Bend your knees slightly and tilt the body backward, engage your core and keep the body upright.
- Raise your toes and lower your body in a squat.
- Squat as low as possible without losing balance.
- Pause for a while, then push yourself back to the starting position.
- Then repeat.
Overhead squats can be an effective way to train the lower body while developing and balance and mobility. Overhead squats also work the muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and arms. Your range of motion will vary slightly with this type of exercise, so correct technique is important.
How to do the overhead squat
- Step under barbell in a squat rack, place the barbell across the back letting it rests on the traps just as if you were about to perform a squat.
- Then step back a bit from the squat rack, stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Inhale and brace your core, bend at the knees and grip the barbell with hands wider than shoulder width. In an explosive movement, drive the barbell up over your head while simultaneously extending your knees and hips. Note: the bar should be positioned slightly behind the head and the arms fully extended.
- Slowly squat down until the thighs are parallel to the ground
- Drive through the heels, exhale as you rise to stand up back then gradually lower the weight down to your shoulders. Rack the barbell. Note: Only use a weight that you are comfortable with so as to maintain proper form.
If you push through the discomfort, this exercise will completely transform your body, this exercise can build big quads, give you huge traps and work the core, it is one of the workouts out there which is rare for people who even lift, though the zercher squats can be uncomfortable, you will still reap amazing benefits from this workout.
How to do the zercher squats
- Place the barbell in the crook of the elbows.
- While maintaining an upright position, squat until the bar touches your thighs.
- Then drive upwards straight back to the starting point.
Note: when doing a zercher squat, wear a long-sleeved shirt and consider placing neoprene knee sleeves around your elbows to prevent discomfort during this.
The hack squat is a machine-based exercise that works the leg muscles but mainly focuses on the quads, however hack squat can be an effective movement to build lower body strength and mass with this exercise you can load more weight than you do on the back squat.
How to do the hack squat
- Load the machine with the desired weight and lie on the machine, position your shoulders against the pads and make sure your back is flat against the platform.
- Position your feet at shoulder width with the toes slightly pointed outwards, keep your head up and grab the handles.
- Keeping hold of the handles, bend your knees and slowly lower the weight by bending your knees until your thighs are approximately at 90 degrees.
- Pause at the bottom for a second.
- Reverse the movement by driving into the platform and extending the knees and hips.
This single leg variation focuses one leg at a time, targeting all the same muscle groups as it does during the squats but with greater emphasis on the quadriceps and core. This one-leg squat variation also improves your balance.
How to do the Bulgarian squat
- Place your foot a few feet behind you on a bench or on a raised platform.
- Keeping the torso upright, tighten your abs, slowly lower your leading leg toward the floor until the thigh is almost horizontal or when your back knee touches the floor.
- Drive up back to the starting position.
Tips for properly executing the squat
To gain muscle with squat, maintaining proper form is essential to avoid injury. Always keep your chest, shoulders, and back straight as this not only hinders growth but also make you prone to injury.
If you want to gain muscle with the squat, you have to get rid of the excuses and incorporate them into your routine, whether you want to grow, cut or gain strength, squats will get you there. You won’t only build big legs; you will also lift better and increase overall body weight and gain strength.
Do the squats.