If you see an athlete with a great set of well developed thigh muscle, that also means he is a very good squatter at the same time. Squat is the only exercise which hits all the muscle of thigh which is alone capable of building a well developed thigh. So let’s explore this great exercise in detail.
Why it’s king of all exercise?
Consider an example of doing barbell curl for biceps. Now the major muscle working here is your bicep brachii, other muscle working are shoulders (deltoids and trapezius) and forearms so total four muscle groups are working in this exercise. But in the case of squat, the muscles working are front thigh muscle group (Quadriceps and other muscles), back thigh (Hamstring and other muscles) and glutes. These are the major muscles that work but some supporting muscle are also helping you to lift weight, they are abdominal muscle group, biceps and triceps muscle group, complete back muscle group, calves and neck. Shocked? Near about all muscles get used when you do squat. This is what makes it the big daddy of compound movement and one of the best choice for adding overall mass and this is what makes it The King.
How to do it?
Learning the squat may take some time, mostly it takes 1 to 2 months to do it properly. The main area to focus on while learning squat is your arched spine and your knee positioning.
1) Your spine should make an arc like a bow (Don’t take this line in very extreme way, just keep it natural).
2) Do not allow your knees to go out from the range of your body (define this range by your shoulder width, may vary in some variations).
3) Keep foot spaced by 1 foot apart from each other and toes should point outwards making an angle of 35 degree from its natural position (may vary in some variation).
4) Keep your hands on barbell, hold tight.
5) Keep the barbell on your shoulder over your upper trapezius muscle.
6) If beginner, start from half range of motion (45 degree) and after some experience, start doing a full squat else do a 90 degree full squat.
What not to do
This is very important issue in the case of squat exercise as wrong form of exercise can injure you. Imagine that you have 150 kg weight on your shoulder and you go down with weights and can’t come up. Believe me, you even can’t throw the weight away and can’t lift the weights as well. “Bas bhagavan hi bachaye”. You should remember the following things before performing the squat.
1) Must have a supporter behind you who already know squat and know how to give support in Squat.
2) Always use barbell locks, doesn’t matter how experience you are.
3) Better to wear shoes and perform squat on plane and clean floor (Must have grip).
4) Always perform the movement in the front of mirror.
5) Keep unwanted people away from you as you need a lot of space for performing the movement.
6) Do proper warm up as a lot of strain comes on your knees (better to have an exercise before squat).
There are various types of variations in squat. They can be divided into two parts. First one is about foot placement, range of motion and 2nd one is performing the squat in totally different way. We will talk about the second way as it is complicated to understand. The following are the variations of Squat:
1) Front Squat (Love this variation personally)
2) Sumo squat (keep your feet apart more one feet)
3) CC squat (Breaks all rules as you have to take your knees out with your complete body, Do it without weights)
4) Jumping squat (I wonder if it’s seriously a variation but talked among athletes)
5) Hack squat (done with Hack squat machine).
Benefits of squat
- Super compound movement which results overall muscular development, one reason for this is elevated Growth hormone produced by the number of muscles involved.
- Overall thigh muscle development including front and back muscle group too.
- Free squat improves lifting stability.
- Increase body’s overall strength which further help move more weights in other exercises.
Kishan Tiwari’s suggestion
It’s a very effective exercise, do it with moderate weights with 10 to 15 repetitions, but for some times, do it with heavy weights with which you can perform only 4 to 6 repetitions SELF. Try some variation also, but stick mostly with basic squat movement. Squat is the secrete of great thigh development.
The final words for squat are that:- It works! So many bodybuilder with great thigh development have tested and proved it correct. GO for it, It really works.