Actually when discussing the squat…IT’S ALL GOOD…Here’s Why…
Related to activities of daily living the squat is essential to who and what we are.
We squat down to sit down and get up…to poop…to pick up bags of groceries or to simply
pick up a young child.
From an athletics perspective…research related to squatting has clearly shown time and
time again that squatting ability and one’s capacity to apply force during a squat improves
jumping, sprinting and other athletic qualities. For both an athlete and for our general population
functionality, or our ability to carry out functions that need to be done on a daily basis, it makes
good sense that we keep our ‘squat’ functioning at a healthy level.
When we discuss the importance of exercise and muscle we have to include the little discussed
topic of sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is the age related loss of muscle and is endemic in our society.
There are over 200 muscles activated during a squat. It is along with the deadlift, the most
highly muscular activated exercise there is. Why is this important? Well, from a general
sarcopenia standpoint we know that hypertrophy is related to the ability to activate muscle. If
you don’t activate muscle, we will not maintain or grow muscle. And if you are not activating
muscle ultimately the use it or lose it principal says ‘you will lose it.’
And finally from a metabolic benefit there have been multiple studies that have shown there to
be a direct correlation between the amount of muscle mass that is activated during exercise and
the direct calorie (energy) expenditure related to that specific exercise. So if you can increase
the amount of muscle that is activated you will increase metabolic activity. By activating over
200 muscles, the squat stands to be the best metabolic movement we can perform. It certainly
makes sense then to include squats to facilitate the short term and long term outcomes from a
weight-loss/fat-loss and improved body composition focused program.