The Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Squatting More

The truth about squats

A common misconception that I hear from numerous athletes, trainers, and doctors is, “I can’t do squats because they are bad for me.”  There are many myths about the squat.  I have heard everything from, “they are bad for your knees” to the notion that “they will make me a slower runner” all the way to the audacious statement that they are just flat out dangerous. This is entirely inaccurate.  Performing squats properly and on a regular basis will improve knee stability, strengthen and tighten the connective tissue around your knees.  Squats are actually safer and put less stress on your knees than machines that were thought to be safer for you.  This includes the leg extensions and smith machine squats. Here are some interesting facts about squats.

  1. Squats are a movement that people do every day.  Whether it is getting in and out of the car or rising from a chair, we squat every day.  It is a natural, functional movement.
  2. The overall best total body strength move is the squat.  It promotes more muscle growth across the whole body than any other movement. This is why it is referred to as the KING OF ALL EXERCISES!
  3. Leg strength is critical to maintaining strength and mobility as we get older.  Many people end up in nursing homes because they can’t get in and out of chairs or on and off a toilet.  If you are an elderly person and can still squat you won’t have a hard time getting out of bed or getting up from that chair.
  4. The benefits of squats are numerous and include: improving your running, sprinting, jumping, endurance, balance, flexibility, posture.  This single move can do all this PLUS prevent injury and provide a full body workout!
  5. Squats are the most primitive movement pattern known to man, people used to do their daily routine in a full squat position.  Go to many other countries, and you will find people eating dinner while squatting.  Think about it; you spend 280 days while in the womb in the fetal position, basically a full squat, and we don’t come out having any knee or back problems.
  6. Squats will not only help you build lean muscle mass but will in turn raise your basal metabolic rate and you will burn more calories throughout both the day and night.
  7. Squats make your whole body stronger.  This includes everything from your muscles, to connective tissue, to your bones. By performing squats you can increase mineral density which helps fight diseases such as osteoporosis.
  8. Performing squats produces endorphins in the body which are your body’s natural way to relieve pain.  This way you can help avoid the use of pain killers and NSAIDS for joint pain and other injuries.
  9. An important fact: perform squats with good technique.  Any exercise done improperly can lead to injury. Make sure you perform full range of motion.  These do not mean you squat like most people I see at the local “globo-gym”: don’t do partial squats, these can limit your range of motion and increase your risk of injury.  This means the hamstrings should hit the back of your calves at the bottom of the squat.
  10. Your general physical fitness and work capacity will be improved, mental and physical energy levels will raise, your body will experience improved hormone production and ultimately, get stronger, having a better looking physique, and improves your life wellness.

There are numerous studies out there explaining how squats will help any person whether it be a professional football player, a police officer, or even an soccer mom.  If you’re a marathon runner and want to improve your time or prevent injury, squat. If you’re a basketball player and you want to have a higher vertical jump, squat. If you just want to lose weight and look and feel better, squat.

We should all be squatting more, so find a coach who can teach you proper technique and get squatting!  Next time a trainer at your gym or your doctor or anybody for that matter says that squats are bad for you, just ask them why and let’s see what their excuse is.

Now go out and squat!

Myth Busting: 5 Excuses for Not Working Out

Are you sitting there thinking that you can’t workout.  Here are 5 excuses that we hear for not working out and why they are just that, excuses.

I’m not fit enough:  Everybody has to start somewhere.  No matter if you are coming off of P90x and looking for to take things to the next level or are still sitting on the couch and looking to lose weight, CrossFit works for you.  At Overland Park CrossFit, our coaches strive to program every workout in a manner that allows modifications for each and every individual athlete, so everyone from the most athletic to those just starting out can get a great workout.

I don’t know how:  Perfect, we do.  At Overland Park CrossFit, we have coaches for every class.  We are here to help you with each and every move in a workout, each and every every step of the way.  If you’ve never done it before, we will show you how.  If you need assistance during a workout, we will make sure you are progressing safely and efficiently so you get the most out of your effort!  The beauty of CrossFit is that everything is scalable so you can start at the place that is right for you and keep progressing.  If you ever have a question, just ask!

I tried but then I lost motivation:  That’s because you didn’t have a group to push you.  If you haven’t done CrossFit before, you probably don’t get it yet, but we are a close group of people who work together towards a healthier lifestyle.  You can’t help but make new friends.  You don’t want to get that text from your workout asking, “Where are you? We missed you today!”

I don’t need to lose weight:  Fitness isn’t just about weight loss.  Living a fitness-oriented lifestyle decreases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, lowers blood pressure, decreases your cholesterol, and prevents osteoporosis.  Everyone needs to be fit.

I just don’t like to:  Our brand of working out is a lot different than what you might be used to.  Beyond that, CrossFit isn’t just about exercise.  We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: It’s about living a healthier, more complete life, and It’s about the community!  We have fun at CrossFit.  We laugh, joke, try new things, and share in each other’s accomplishments.  If you don’t believe me, come try it out!