We all know that squatting will help us to build and shape our glutes. However, there's more to just a 'squat'! Here are 10 fun and educational facts about squats you may not have known...
10 Fun Facts About Squatting
- While most of us back squat, a front squat is a great alternative and will use your quads and hamstrings in the same way.
- With all else equal, the more weight you lift with any squat variation, the more muscle you will activate. This is why progressively adding more weight to the bar is so important.
- You will be able to move more weight on a back squat if you take a wider stance and rotate your toes and thighs outwards. This will increase activation of the glutes and adductors.
- Muscle activation is highest when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Reducing range of motion allows you to move more weight, but with less work for the muscles you’re trying to build. Always aim for at least parallel depth!
- Going below parallel at the bottom of the movement increases activation of your glutes. This has no increased activation of your quads and hamstrings, but big booty’s are in this year. Drop it like it’s hot!
- Most people can go deeper on a front squat than a back squat. This essentially means more glute activation. However most people move more weight on a back squat than a front squat.
- You activate 43 percent more muscle squatting with free weights compared to a smith machine. This is despite the fact that most people can lift significantly more weight on the smith machine.
- It’s not just because you recruit more stabilizing muscles when you use free weights as the quads, hamstrings, and calves all work harder than they do on the smith machine.
- A smith machine is a decent alternative for working around physical limitations or injuries, but the squat rack is the ideal choice for a healthy and capable individual.
- Even though you can move a lot more weight on a leg press, nothing beats heavy weight on a vertical path without help from a machine. The same goes with hack squats, leg extensions, and leg curls. Squats are king.
A perfect squat is a rare sight. Few lifters in commercial gyms attempt it, and only a small fraction of those do it well. Of course everyone has their own interpretation of what a perfect squat is.
To improve your technique, confidence, and strength consider an Exercise Technique Session to fast track your results and squat with pride!
Article written by Armada Nutrition Athlete and Strength and Nutrition Coach Denver Steyn. For more from Denver, visit www.denversteyn.com.