Squats. Probably the hardest exercise of them all BUT one of the most rewarding , especially if done correctly.
I generally always give this exercise to clients or recommend it to people that ask.
Here are some of the main reasons to squat:
1. Increase hormone release
Total body exercises are great stimulators for muscle-building hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. Because they involve almost every muscle in the body, they cause a great stimulus for growth. Load up a challenging weight to reap the anabolic hormonal benefits that will help you build muscle everywhere.
2. Improve your workout efficiency
Forget spending a few hours in the gym hopping from machine to machine in search of a good workout. Introduce a few sets of heavy squats into your routine, and you’ll see what you’ve been missing. This total-body move will jack up your heart rate and leave your legs burning in no time.
3. Reduce your chance of injury
Boosting the muscles surrounding your knees & hips is a quick method to reduce your chance of injury when jumping, running, and doing almost any activity. Squats build your glutes, hamstrings, and quad muscles—primary stabilizers when you’re moving on the playing field. Include both single and double leg varieties to help bullet-proof your lower body.
4. Improve flexibility
By moving your body through a full range of motion, you’ll not only build strength, you’ll boost flexibility as well. Deep squatting helps to increase range of motion in the entire hip complex. The benefit: reduced back pain and an easier time getting around in daily activities or sporting events.
5. Enhance core strength
Since squats are typically loaded from top to bottom, either in the form of a barbell or a dumbbell, your core has to work overtime to prevent injury & maintain an upright posture. In terms of building your six-pack, heavy compound exercises like squats should be a staple. Include front squats, which involve a barbell held in front of your body, for an increased core demand.