Here are the main physiological reasons why squats are a MUST DO exercise.
- They keep the glutes (butt muscles) strong. So important for posture and to prevent an anterior tilt of the pelvis which is common during pregnancy and postnatally. An anterior tilted pelvis can prevent proper functioning of the pelvic floor and impede healing of diastasis recti (abdominal separation). The diagram below from Burrell Education demonstrates an anterior tilted pelvis. Imagine that there is a bowl of water resting inside your pelvis. If you have an anterior tilted pelvic the bowl will tip towards the front and the water will pour out of the bowl and onto your toes.
- The pelvic floor loves squats. Let's use an example. If you wanted to increase the strength of your biceps you would do bicep curls, right? As you lower the weight down, the bicep muscle lengthens. As you lift the weight up the bicep muscle shortens. The same happens with your pelvic floor during a squat. As you descend into a squat, you stretch/lengthen the pelvic floor, and as you rise back up, the pelvic floor shortens. And not a single pelvic floor squeeze in sight!
- The leg and butt muscles are big and burn lots of calories to function. They will get your heart rate up and help improve heart health. A great exercise option when it isn't possible to get out for other more traditional cardio exercises such as swimming, running or cycling.
Check back this week or join our closed group on Facebook for more tips on tuning your squat technique.