Squats Save Lives

Squats? Again?

Squats Save Livesimage by Greg Westfall

I hear that a lot.  I do squats with my clients on a daily basis. Not always the same form of squat. It could be a basic dumbbell squat. Or maybe an overhead squat. Perhaps a Bulgarian split squat. But usually there is some form of squat (or two) in every workout.

And they almost always groan and want to know why.

I tell them it’s because we squat every day.  Every time you sit down at your desk you’re squatting. If you’re doing it correctly, every time you pick something off the ground or low shelf you’re squatting. Every time you go to the bathroom you’re squatting! Squats are an essential part of our life.

While we may take for granted our ability to do these tasks now, what about as we age? As we get older, we lose lean muscle mass as well as muscle strength and endurance. Getting up out of chairs or climbing stairs becomes more challenging.  We become more unstable, unable to get around as we should.

1 in 3 adults age 65 and over will fall each year.

Of those who fall, 20-30% suffer severe to moderate injuries and may not be able to return to independent living.

The average hospitalization cost for a fall is $17,500.

By exercising regularly, and including squats in those workouts, we work all the muscles of the legs. The ones that push us up, the ones that steady us on one leg and the ones that let us climb the stairs.  Just as squatting is an essential part of life, squats should be an essential part of your workout routine.

  • Sarah Jo

    I’m glad you said “Squats save lives” b/c I don’t mind squats. It’s lunges that I hate. :)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Want to know a secret? They’re not my favorite either. :)

  • http://www.exerciseisthebest.com Isaac

    Great Headline Pamela. It’s good to hear you’re such an advocate of using squats with your clients. Deadlift and squats are my absolute favorites!

    I think people that are new to the gym and exercise are often intimidated by compound exercises, even though, for newbies, these are the best way to go…There’s nothing worse than seeing someone new to the gym being prescribed hundreds of bicep curls and leg extensions :)

    I actually just wrote a post all about the benefits of compound exercise (see link below), so it’s good to hear others preaching the same thing.

    http://www.exerciseisthebest.com/2011/07/22/compound-lifts-are-best-for-weight-loss/

  • livingbygrace

    I am a physical therapist assistant and I must say AMEN Pamela. The number one exercise I do with my older population of patients is “sit to stand with slow return.” That is, you guessed it, a squat! I find so often they can’t get up on their own and when they sit they just plop. They lack the control to slowly lower themselves onto a seat/toilet/etc. In therapy, we work help them to strengthen their posterior chain to literally keep their butts off the floor!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Thanks for the link Isaac, great article! And thanks for chiming in with your experience as a physical therapy assistant, livingbygrace! I just don’t think most people realize how important squats are. Great examples!

  • berlinoise

    I love squats. Not necessarily when I’m doing them (!), but I feel great afterwards. And I have definitely noticed a big difference since I’ve started incorporating them regularly into my workout.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    They can make all the difference in the world!

  • http://amerrylife.com Mary (A Merry Life)

    Love this post. Sooo true!

    @Sarah Jo – I’m not a fan of lunges either. ;)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Thanks Mary!

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