The squat is a strength-building lower body exercise. It is executed by placing a weighted barbell across your shoulders, then using your legs to lower and raise your body. The movement resembles the act of repeatedly sitting in and standing from a chair. There are many physiological benefits to performing squats regularly. In fact, many athletes view this movement as the most effective exercise for developing total-body strength.
The muscles in your thigh are the biggest and strongest of your body. These are also stressed most during the execution of your squat routines. Muscles, when placed under great opposition, release a hormone called testosterone. This biochemical is an essential element to the process of muscle growth. The testosterone that is released circulates through your entire system, stimulating whole-body development.
Weight training not only builds muscle, but also strengthens bone and connective tissue. As your leg muscles become more powerful, so do the joints within your lower body. Squats toughen the knees and ankles, as well as their supporting ligaments and tendons. This leaves them less susceptible to injury and capable of supporting the body well as you age.
Doing squats can help you maintain your balance as you get older. Strengthening your lower body helps fortify the system of nerves that control movement in that area. This allows you to keep the natural sense of equilibrium that complements fluid movement. Muscles also learn and internalize repeated patterns of behavior. Doing squats contracts and moves those chiefly responsible for mobility, helping you keep your poise and composure.
Squats also strengthen your body's core, the group of muscles surrounding your mid-section. The muscles in both your abdomen and your lower back are utilized to hold and balance the weight throughout the movement. This strengthens both your posture and balance, as well as assists your body in performing everyday physical tasks.