Why squats are a girl’s favorite exercise, What is it about squats that makes them so perfect for women? And how can you use the move to sculpt your legs, butt, and core?
It starts with the deep engagement of all four of your quad muscles. That’s no surprise: Your quads (the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and vastus lateralis) run from the top of your hips to your knee caps and are responsible for extending and straightening your legs as you stand up tall.
But here’s the thing: When you do a regular squat, those muscles not only extend the leg you’re standing on to stand up straight; they also contract and shorten as your knee winds up and your hips move back. That creates an amazing sculpting effect: The contraction cinches in the waistline and makes your butt look rounder and perkier. You can’t get that effect from a standing calf raise or other isolated exercises.
But squats go beyond your quads. They also engage the hamstrings, which help extend your hips, and your glutes—and that’s what makes them one of the best exercises you can do to firm up your backside. The reason? Well, women are prone to storing fat in their hips and thighs, so developing those muscles will result in a smaller waist, as well as stronger legs and better balance.
The move also recruits your abs. The rectus abdominus runs vertically along your front and helps you flex and bend at the waistline; the transversus abdominus wraps around your middle like a corset and pulls in your belly when you do a squat.
Squats could very well be your new best friend. And if you need help getting started, try the beginner’s guide.
List of Squats benefits for women:
1. Low-impact exercise that works your legs, abs, glutes, and backside.
2. Works several muscles at once.
3. Stimulates metabolism because it engages so much muscle mass all at once.
4. Builds mental toughness because it’s challenging to many people—especially beginners.
5. Helps you lose inches off your waistline.
6. Helps you lose weight by targeting the specific muscles that help you burn more calories.
7. Builds muscle to give you a lean and toned look.
8. Improves balance and helps prevent falls (a common problem among older women and women who suffer from diabetes and other conditions).
9. Provides overall body conditioning and improved flexibility.
10. Helps you get through the toughest of workouts and the most challenging of days more easily, thanks to its stress-reducing effects.
11. Makes you feel happier by releasing feel-good endorphins in your brain (a recent study found that high-intensity exercise like squats boosts mood).
12. Improves sleep quality by stimulating the production of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
So what are some other reasons squats are so good for women?
The first reason is that it hits all your major muscles, which means more calories burned. But here’s the thing: Squats don’t only work your quads—they also engage your hamstrings and glutes (aka your muscles). That means you can rock out new and interesting squats, from front squats to sumo squats to pistol squats. And by doing a variety of squats, you’ll actually work your legs from every angle—which means they’ll get more toned faster.
What’s more, any time you do a regular squat, you’re developing your sense of balance and coordination. Any time you’re engaging your muscles and working your body in a new way, you’re also building up your core—the muscles in your trunk that help keep everything stable.
Here’s the number-one reason squats are great for women: They make you feel strong. Every time you move through a squat, it improves mental toughness. It builds endurance and physical strength and makes you feel in control of your own body. Every time you hit a new squat PR, it brings more confidence in yourself.
Do Squats help lose belly fat?
In order to lose fat, you must be in a caloric deficit. In other words, when eating the same amount of calories as your body burns in a day, you will lose weight. For the best results when trying to lose belly fat, add 200-300 calorie burn per workout to that number and try cardio exercises such as running, biking, or swimming. Also, try the best exercises for a lean core.
When it comes to squats specifically though they can aid in fat loss by increasing your metabolic rate. If you have a higher resting metabolic rate it is easier for you to avoid weight gain and lose weight so this benefit of doing squats is very helpful when trying to lose belly fat.
So yes, squats help lose belly fat but they are not a stand-alone answer to weight loss. In order to get the best results when trying to lose belly fat, you need a calorie deficit and cardio in addition to doing your squats.
How many squats to see results?
Aim for 3-4 sets of 5-10 reps. If you’re just starting out, aim for two sessions per week—even if it’s just five squats in your living room to start with. As time goes by, increase the number of days or reps to see better results!
If you can’t do a regular squat right now, there are plenty of modifications you can make until you build up the strength and flexibility to do a regular one.
Why women should do squats?
This is not an idle question; many strength coaches believe that it’s actually more important for women than men to include the squat in their workout regimen. The general consensus among trainers and coaches is that if you’re a woman, you should try to squat as often as possible.
Why? Because squats increase bone density, which means they help protect women from osteoporosis. For those who might not know, your bones become less dense as you age; this makes them more susceptible to breaking or shattering. Squats help prevent this deterioration.