This piece first appeared on Women’s Running.
A popular part of cross-training, squats have a reputation for making your booty strong and hamstrings hardcore. However, there are five other reasons, perhaps lesser-known, to incorporate squats into your schedule. Dr. Chris Stepien, D.C., CSCS, CAPP and Strength Coach for Heroes Journey, lists some more reasons why you should be squatting on the regular:
They prevent injuries.
Most injuries are caused due to weak muscles and soft tissue (ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues). Squats improve flexibility and balance which simultaneously strengthens your ankles, knees, hips and low back.
They help you in the real world.
Squats are considered a functional exercise, meaning they enable your body to perform real-life activities easier. Our bodies were designed to be hunter-gatherers. Squats strengthen your body making it move more efficiently in today’s real world.
They promote regularity.
In order for your body to function properly, internal organs need to perform at their optimum. If performed in a full range of motion, squats help your colon by improving your body’s fluid and nutrition distribution to all your tissues, organs and glands.
They help maintain mobility.
As you get older, your body relies on your leg and core strength to keep you going. Every squat works out your core to promote balance and improves communication between your brain and your muscle groups.
They are actually a multi-body workout.
There are a few exercises that work the entire body like squats. Squats strengthen your upper and lower body.