It kills me that so many guys in the gym tend to stay away from training their legs – they procrastinate. When leg day comes around they make up excuses such as, “bad knees”, “bad back”, or, “I don’t want to bulk up – I am looking for more definition”.
Here’s the truth: a properly executed squat will help you benefit drastically from bad knees since it will help strengthen the muscle around the knee joint and increase the stability. The same goes with having a bad back – when properly executed the squat will strengthen the supportive tissue throughout the back and spine.
For those who say they are not looking to bulk up in the legs and they would prefer to perform leg extensions or legs curls, or use abductor-adductor machines to obtain more definition, forget it. You will only bulk up if you are consuming enough calories to do so.
Some benefits to performing squats are: increased bone density, an increase in core strength, increase in stamina and an increase in lower body strength and stability.
Another good reason that you should perform squats is to increase the anabolic hormone testosterone. Testosterone allows you to build lean muscle, reduce body fat, improve mood, and increase sexual performance. If you are stuck at a plateau on your bench, there’s a good chance hitting some good squats will elevate your testosterone enough to break it.
If you are not sure how to perform a squat properly, speak to a certified personal trainer and have him or her go over the movement. Even if you think you know how to perform a squat, I suggest you have a qualified individual take a second look to make sure you are performing it correctly.
Make sure you have a good warm-up and stretch before performing squats. I prefer to do my cardio at the end of my leg workout, as the increase in oxygen will help eliminate the build-up of lactic acid – the burn. Finally, take the next 10-15 minutes for a good stretch.
So, don’t forget about your squats and remember: procrastination is just like masturbation – it seems like a good thing at the time, but in the end you’re only fucking yourself.
- Chris Belanger www.fusionbodybuilding.com