Everywhere you go these days it seems squats are trending big time. In a world of Kardashian butts and Instagram feeds it seems like one of social media’s current top priorities is to achieve the perfect butt. This seems to particularly extend to women’s posteriors with before and after images flooding cyber space in a constant battle to beat gravity and secure the best butt selfie. The benefits of squats for women is that the perfect butt, of course, can be achieved through the power of squat!
While I say this ironically, there is some truth in it with squats offering a high-intensity workout to all the major muscle groups of the quads, hamstrings and glutes. However, let’s take a look at some other, less obvious benefits of squats for women that don’t solely rely on other people’s opinion of the female posterior.
5 Alternative Benefits of Squats for Women:
- Psychological Strengthening
- Increased Energy Levels
- Postural Improvements
- Core and Pelvic Floor Strengthening
- Improved Circulation
Psychological Benefits of Squats for Women:
There’s a significant increase in research these days and rising public interest in mindfulness and a balanced approach to living. It’s no secret, therefore, that the body and mind very much work together in all areas of life. The old catchphrase “healthy body healthy mind” seems more relevant than ever.
One of the major benefits of squats for women is the improvements over time in mental strength and endurance that mirrors the physical adaptations of an effective fitness regime. The sheer determination and mental grit required to maintain and build an effective strength training programme will extend to all areas of your life, usually resulting in healthier coping mechanisms, an uncanny ability to stop “sweating the small things” and the mental metal to maintain strength under pressure in all areas of life. Not bad for one little exercise!
Increased Energy Levels:
After a heavy or intense squat session you may not exactly feel like you’re bouncing around the gym with energy. It’s more likely that, once you’ve sat down, getting out of your chair can almost seem like too much effort. However, over time, with progressive training, it’s not only your muscles that adapt to the extra demands put on them. Your entire body and mind will adapt to match the increased demands on your mental and physical energy levels. Mental fatigue and that all-too-familiar mid-afternoon lull will become a thing of the past.
What has training my legs and butt got to do with my posture? The answer is plenty. Many people’s understanding of posture is the area around your upper back and shoulders, with poor posture generally referring to a rounding and muscular imbalance in this area.
As previously stated the whole body works as one unit, with an imbalance in one area having repercussions and a ripple effect throughout the entire body. Weak glutes (aka. butt muscles!) or an unstable core can very often contribute to weak or unbalanced postural muscles throughout the spine. The can result in shoulder and neck tightness and pain, lower back issues and even knee and hip pain.
Strengthening of the glutes, hamstrings, quads and core through correct form squats trains your body to stand correctly, balance your weight evenly through the correct areas and can prevent a whole host of niggles, aches and pains that many people put down to “daily life”
Core Stability / Pelvic Floor Strengthening:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably already heard numerous times about the importance of having a strong and stable core. So what does this mean? In brief, your core muscles are the muscles groups of your abdomen, lower back and pelvic floors. Basically the muscles that surround your torso and keep you standing up straight. Or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do.
Weak core muscles mean your lower back has to do all the heavy lifting and carrying that life entails. This means becoming familiar with that feeling of a recurring dull ache in your lower back and the inability to lift anything heavier than a tin of beans. While this is common and has become “normalised” across society these days, it’s not healthy and it’s not how biology intended us to function.
In addition to this, and possibly more relevant for women, is the weakening of our pelvic floor muscles over time. Events such as childbirth can have catastrophic effects on our pelvic floor muscle group. However, the human body is designed to adapt and recover and this can be very achievable through an effective and safe exercise regime.
While there’s a lot of pressure out there to “get back in shape” and “loose the baby pounds”, a high impact exercise class may do more harm than good initially. A better approach can be to focus on rebuilding strength and functionality and let the weight loss work itself out over time…which it will.
One of the benefits of squats for women is that its a low impact, strength training exercise that offers huge results in strength, functionality and weight loss across the whole body while remaining low impact and protecting areas of weakness such as knees, ankles and pelvic floor muscles.
As an added bonus, regular strength training also increases bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis in later life.
Improvements in Circulation:
Regular exercise has massive benefits on circulation throughout the body. This can raise body temperature, improve skin appearance, increase nutrient flow to joints and muscles, increase energy, improve digestion, reduce cellulite, boost immune system, the list goes on. Basically it’s like a regular health juice shot to make you feel just that little bit more awesome about life.
OK I had to go there. Yes, it’s nice to get a compliment on your butt every once in a while . With visual improvements ranging from firmer muscles in the bum and legs to a reduction in cellulite and a more streamlined appearance that’s not a bad bonus effect from this all-round super exercise.
While some of these benefits of squats for women could be applied to many different forms of exercise, we felt squats deserve a special mention as they combine high intensity, low impact training with versatility to provide benefits that can be felt across the entire body and mind.
So just as a quick reminder. The benefits of squats for women include:
- Psychological Boosts
- Boosts Circulation and Immune System
- Core Strengthening
- Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
- Improvements in Posture
- Low cost, Versatile, Minimal Equipment
Remember, as with all exercise, correct form is vital to get maximum benefit and reduce risk of injury. Always consult a fitness professional for beginning any squat regime.