If you diligently squat every day before and after work, first of all, you're a champion. Sticking to a workout routine is great for consistency's sake, but you also might be wondering about the benefits of squats for fat loss. While doing 100 reps of anything is seriously impressive, your squat routine isn't necessarily going to yield the results you might be hoping for. Squats are a useful part of a well-rounded fitness routine, but they aren't a magical weight loss solution on their own.
Why Squats Are Great
Bodyweight squats are one of the easiest exercises to incorporate into your daily routine — they require no equipment, they're low impact on your joints and they're simple to accomplish in a short period of time (like when you're running late for work but still want to squeeze in some movement). There are also several different kinds to try: jump squats, touch ground jumping jack, burpees or single leg squats. The options seem almost endless.
Squats are what is known as a functional movement exercise; that is, they simulate a regular activity to strengthen the muscles you use most in your everyday life. Functional movement training has been shown to help with balance, strength, mobility and the completion of everyday tasks. They build muscle in your legs, butt and core, which will help you lift heavier items and prevent injury.
Squats for Weight Loss
If you're doing 100 squats a day, or even doing them several times per week, you'll notice results in as little as eight weeks of training. However, those results might not be quite what you're hoping for. According to the American Council on Exercise, strength training can burn a high number of calories by using up energy in your muscle tissue, which will gradually increase your resting metabolic rate. But cardio and diet also play an important role in weight loss.
Rather than relying on one specific exercise to help you lose weight, start incorporating a variety of exercises and nutrition hacks into your life. This will outweigh the benefits of squats alone for fat loss and overall physical health.
Don’t Overdo It
One other thing to look out for is signs of overtraining, which can happen when you do too much of one particular activity and cause stress on your muscles or joints. If you drastically increase your training intensity without building slowly, you could cause inflammation in the target area. This is especially possible when you're doing a high number of repetitions of one specific exercise.
The American Council on Exercise warns that excessive fatigue, decreased performance and chronic injuries can all be signs of overtraining. So if you're going to be doing 100 squats a day, monitor your body closely to make sure nothing feels wrong. There's a difference between a workout that hurts because it's challenging you and one that hurts because your body is reacting in a negative way.
Ultimately, squats are a practical and functional addition to a healthy lifestyle. But when done without any other fitness supplement, they'll build only one area of your body without contributing much else to your overall health. In addition to your 100 squats for weight loss, add some cardio and strength training that targets other areas of the body as well.
- American Council on Exercise: "Bodyweight Squat"
- European Review of Aging and Physical Activity: "Systematic Review of Functional Training on Muscle Strength, Physical Functioning, and Activities of Daily Living in Older Adults"
- Physiological Reports: "The Effect of Training Volume and Intensity on Improvements in Muscular Strength and Size in Resistance-Trained Men"
- American Council on Exercise: "Trimming Off the Fat"
- Sports Health: "Overtraining Syndrome"
- American Council on Exercise: "Overtraining: 9 Signs of Overtraining to Look Out For"