Let’s talk about the squat!
First of all, when you hear the word “SQUAT” what comes to your mind?
I have a feeling a lot of people probably think of some buff guy, crazy amount of weight on his back, and intense screaming while moving up and down. Perhaps something similar to the image below:
Squatting with 800lbs is an absolutely incredible feat but it is only a small part of the big picture when discussing the squat. It always helps to understand THE WHY.
Let’s begin by looking at some images:
As you can see, squatting is not just an exercise but a movement pattern that we, as humans, are made to do. IT IS A FOUNDATIONAL MOVEMENT. Thus, the simple answer would be because we are supposed to.
With that said, unfortunately, somewhere along the way, many people lose the ability to squat. Have you heard the saying, “if you don’t use it you lose it”? People just stop squatting throughout their lives and lose the ability to squat. It may be due to the lack of strength, lack of flexibility & mobility, or even an injury. Whatever the reason may be, it may benefit from improving the squat which can impact your movement, flexibility, strength, and ultimately the quality of life.
The next reason, the most common, for squatting is to exercise. When discussing any exercise, there should always be a goal or purpose. Is it for building muscle? To lose weight? Injury rehabilitation? Even a squat can stimulate the body in many different ways because the body adapts to a SPECIFIC STIMULUS. Depending on how you manipulate the variables of the squat, your adaptation will vary. To name a few, the total volume and the intensity of the squat will impact the outcome. I’ll go over all the variables more in detail later in the series, but make sure to know the purpose of incorporating the squat in your exercise program.
The last thing I want to discuss in Part 1 is the importance of consistency and effort. Whatever the goal is, without consistent work and adequate effort no goal is obtainable. If you want to grow your leg muscles, it might take squatting 3x per week to provide enough frequency & volume to stimulate growth. Obviously, if you only squat 1-2x per week you won’t meet that “threshold” and the body will not adapt.
In conclusion, we squat and we should because we are made to. It’s a natural basic human movement. With that said, if we can’t or we aren’t good at squatting, we can improve, like anything else, by consistent practice.
Just in case you’re interested, here’s a video of Chris ‘Mad Scientist’ Duffin squatting 800lbs for 30days straight: