Squatting is one of the most basic exercises and has been a part of the health-conscious population’s everyday routine since the dawn of fitness fanatics. And while squatting everyday sounds pretty intense, many people still opt to go for it. So, what actually happens when you squat everyday and how does it affect your body?
Depending on how much your body can take, squatting everyday can generate different results. People used to heavy workout sessions have exclaimed how squatting regularly helped them to regain their strength. But then again, the same routine did bring detrimental effects to a significant number of people as well.
It really makes you wonder as to how the same workout regime can generate such different results. So, to clear out confusions like these, let's have a thorough overview of the pros and cons of squatting every day. Then you can readily decide what's the best option for you.
Squatting Every Day: What You Need to Know
Before getting into the whole good or bad debate, you should have proper knowledge about some common facts about squatting. For instance – did you know that the act of squatting every day is actually a pretty ancient format of exercising?
Well, yes. This specific workout program dates back to as early as the late 20th century. In fact, it was first introduced before the whole world during the Olympics event back then.
A Bulgarian weightlifter named Ivan Abadjiev made this whole squatting program as famous as it is in recent times. After performing exemplary well in the Olympics, everyone became interested in knowing his techniques.
And that's when the benefits of squatting every day came to light. Ivan shared all about how it strengthened his muscles and kept him in tip-top shape for the whole event. He even, later on, ended up becoming the head coach of the federation where he taught others about it.
According to his tactics, it was okay to squat everyday as long as it followed these specific regulations:
- Limitations on other forms of exercising if you are already squatting regularly. So that your body doesn't become exhausted immediately.
- Making sure whatever exercises you were pairing up with the squatting were light and easy. Again, it's important to make sure you don't spend all your strengths at once.
- Focusing on the front squats specifically helps to build the most muscle power. And that, in turn, helps out with weightlifting.
- Other forms of warm-up exercises were highly prioritized as well since they complemented heavyweight squatting. Such as – clean and jerk, snatch, etc.
- A similar pattern or program routine was followed throughout the year. Or, more. The goal was to make the body habituated to a certain session of rigorous workout.
For the time being, lots of connoisseurs were pretty hesitant about such a program. They didn't seem to like it as much as it didn't adhere to the traditional workout programs.
However, they more or less were convinced to change their mind after they witnessed the astonishing results.
That being said, it's also true that Ivan didn't proceed to take in students just like that. Only those who could withstand an insane amount of workout sessions were found eligible. You also had to have the determination and dedication to continue the program for years on end.
Is It OK to Squat Everyday?
While it's not inherently detrimental, squatting everyday isn't exactly highly recommended either. Sure, some people do make a habit out of squatting regularly, that's no doubt. But from a neutral point of view, no, it's not okay to squat everyday.
And the reason behind such a decision is quite simple as well. Because the human body can indeed suffer from muscular dystrophy, torsion, etc. from disoriented squatting postures. So, it's not a wise decision to overlook such cons while deciding on the final decision.
But, yes. Several people, especially heavyweight weightlifters do benefit a lot from such rigorous workout sessions. But that doesn't mean it will have the same effect on everybody, specifically on normal people.
That's why it's best to say that it's indeed not okay to go for squatting sessions everyday. After all, it's better to stay safe than sorry in the long run. And it's not like you can't achieve the same health goals with less squatting. That's a myth. So, that doesn't matter either.
How Many Squats A Day Is Too Many?
Again, considering that the basic form of squatting is the easiest one, you can go for a little more. Of course, provided that your body is actually up for it. As for split and goblet, best not to try them out relentlessly.
Since they are a little tricky, it's hard to keep a proper posture all the time. And even if you can, it's not a great idea to keep your organs all twisted like that. At least not multiple times a day. So, stick to the bare minimum instead.
Furthermore, you can customize the number of reps according to your personal fitness goals. Best to contact a professional for matters like these. That way, they can help you to come up with the perfect program. Whilst ensuring that it isn't an overkill for both your body and mind.
Squatting Every Day: Pros, Cons, Should You Do It?
Now that you have a basic idea of squatting regularly, it's time to have a look at its pros and cons. Finally, you can figure out for yourself why it brings out such diversified reactions from the gym people.
Here's a brief overview of all the pros of squatting every day:
Simplifies The Session
The very first benefit that comes with squatting every day is the randomness of the sessions. By spreading the workload throughout the seven days, you ultimately minimize the exercises for a single day.
Let's think of it in this way. According to your personalized workout program, you need to complete about 12 sets of squatting in a week. Now considering how try-hardy they are, you cannot obviously finish the full set in a day.
Not only would that exhaust you out fully, but it may also result in further physical damages if done improperly. So, the best course of action here is to split them up into seven days, right?
Precisely. That's the ideal way to reduce both the workload and monotony. Most people would divide it into 4 different sessions to complete it throughout the week. That way, they get to do only three sets at a time and also, keep a gap day in-between sessions.
Now, although keeping gap days is kind of optimum, many may extend the sessions even further. Instead of doing three sets every other day, they can do about two sets every day instead.
Decidedly, it's not a huge difference. But for someone who's a beginner or has low stamina, this works most efficiently. They get to build up the habit of squatting in a slow but steady manner.
The problem only arises if the same person tries to take on a lot more per day for no reason. For instance – if he decided to complete the whole week's worth of exercise in a single day. Now, that would certainly exhaust someone out as it's beyond the limit.
Maybe not for the first few days, or even weeks, but it'll happen eventually. They will slowly lose both their strength and willpower. Meanwhile, the ones who simplified the sessions will end up receiving greater rewards for the lowest possible but steady efforts.
Amplifies Overall Strength Significantly
Squatting everyday was meant for all those people who value strength over anything else. Because if you remember, it was originally initiated in an event that focused on heavy weightlifting. So, yeah. Squatting can indeed help to amplify your overall strength by a lot.
But how? How do they do it? What's the science behind squatting that leads to the increase in overall strength?
Well, for starters, squatting is a form of a compound exercise. As a result, they can target a bunch of muscles at the same time instead of focusing on just one. For instance – doing push-ups is primarily an upper-body workout.
Again, lifting hand weights can highly contribute to strengthening the quadriceps. But, squatting? Squatting is a form of exercise that can do it all since it's a compound exercise.
The primary muscle groups that get targeted during a squatting session are:
- Gluteal Muscles
- Abdominals & Obliques
- Adductor Magnus, etc.
In fact, squatting targets the entire body at any given point of the exercise. And not just the primary muscle groups, it helps out with the subsidiary muscles as well. Especially it works fantastic as a core and a spinal stabilizer.
And depending on the type of squatting, you can shift the focus to specific muscle groups as well. For instance – front squats are the best if you want to achieve a full upper body workout.
Makes You More Efficient
This is a specific pro that you can get from only by squatting everyday. And that is, it builds up a more or less healthy habit.
As you already know, humans are slaves to habits. So, whether they can develop good or bad habits to improve or deteriorate their life is completely up to them. And for a weightlifter, can't say that squatting everyday falls under the category of bad habits.
Provided that they aren't overdoing the exercise, of course. But if you do start to squat every day, at a certain time, your body will slowly get used to it. And that, with time, will make your exercising sessions more efficient with accurate positioning.
Surely, I don't have to remind you why accuracy is so important in exercises like squatting. That's pretty much the line between strengthening your muscles and pulling them.
Strengthens Your Core
If you struggle with maintaining your balance, squatting can help you out a great deal. By focusing on multiple muscle groups at once, kind of forces you to balance out your center of gravity. And that paired with a routine light exercise? Match made in heaven.
The heavy squatting session will keep your core in place for the entirety of the workout session. While, on the other hand, the light reps will help to strengthen it as you go. The process works best if you do it regularly. As in, you'll really have to commit if you want to succeed.
Lowers The Rate Of Muscular Injury
Multiple studies share the light on how strengthening the muscles directly or indirectly affects their immunity as well. Needless to say, a pair of great and strong muscles can tackle more damage than virgin muscles.
(By virgin, muscles that don't undergo workout sessions much)
And one of the best ways to ensure immunity like this is to squat regularly. If you keep the sessions within a limit and don't overwork, your muscles will build up great resistance over time. That will, in turn, save you from minor injuries and help you to recover pretty quickly.
Helps With Calorie Intake
Another great thing about squatting is how it helps to manage calorie intake. In addition to hamstrings, quadriceps, etc. Squatting also helps with abdominal muscles. By strengthening the muscles, it helps to flatten the curve and thus, reduce normal cravings.
You start to feel satisfied after your regular intake of necessary calories. And that, in turn, makes you less likely to eat fried or junk foods in abundance. So, by regulating your stomach muscles, squatting regularly can indirectly help you out with proper calorie intake as well.
Boosts Athletic Ability
This is another great side-effect of the whole combined exercise thing. Since all parts i.e. muscles are more or less strengthened, for the time being, it boosts your overall ability as an athlete. Your performance is substantially improved and it's not a one-time thing either.
Yep. That's where the benefit of doing it regularly comes in. You don't develop permanent strength like this when you squat only now and then. It slowly takes effect when you're practicing and evolving daily.
So, that's another great incentive to try out everyday squatting sessions, I guess. After all, everyone aspires after long term progress, don't they?
That being said, no good things are without a little splash of bad in them. Here's a brief overview of the cons of squatting everyday:
Taxing On The Body At Times
The thing with squatting is that it can generate a lot of positive results in a very few days. And that can lead people to believe that it's some sort of magic exercise that solves everything. So, like the golden egg duck, they try to do more and more of it to reap something better.
But they don't know that squatting only helps when it's done in an appropriate amount. Or even if they do, they don't want to believe it. And that's where it gets exhausting. People put themselves through extreme sessions and it takes all the strength out of them in no time.
Mental Taxation, Too
Not just the body, squatting everyday can end up ruining your mental peace as well. You're always driven to work out every single day even if you don't feel like it. And if you stop, something feels out of place and it starts to bug you like crazy.
Furthermore, people who choose to squat everyday mainly do it for the physical rewards. So, when they don't see such substantial improvement, they start to feel mentally down as well. They become depressed and slowly, some stop exercising completely as well.
Initiates Muscle Fatigue
Just as proper squatting can strengthen the muscles, doing it regularly can cause them to become fragile. Especially if you're squatting for way longer than you're supposed to.
Also, such rigorous workout sessions can actually shred the muscles from within. Also known as muscular torsion or dystrophy. And that's not a pretty thing to live with, I'll tell you that. Not only does it hurt like crazy, but it can also do permanent damage to your muscles.
And even if it doesn't tear, it can definitely cause muscle fatigue to say the least. You rarely have strength for anything else. In fact, muscle fatigue is the reason why even many experienced weightlifters end up retiring at a pretty early age.
This mainly happens due to the lack of proper recovery time. It's standard to keep at least 48-72 hours of recovery time before strong workout sessions like these. So, when you disavow that and squat everyday, the chances of your muscles wearing out increase tenfold.
To sum it all up, you should only squat everyday if it fits your fitness goals. And if you get a green signal for it from your personal trainer. And even then, you should exercise extra caution every step of the way. Or should I say, every squat of the day?
Squat Everyday Program – Planning For Your Squats
Again, squatting every day is definitely not for everyone. But that doesn't mean that you cannot go for it responsibly. So, if you're up for that, here's a brief sample of the squat everyday program to help you out.
Sunday: Start with three sets of five reps with 50% 1 RM (or, 60% 1 RM) as back squat. It's great for beginners as well as it builds muscle endurance.
Monday: Diversify it up with a set of front squats (similar configuration as before). Again, a great exercise for beginners as it's simple and efficient.
Tuesday: Try out box squatting in three sets of three reps in 70% 1 RM strength. Great for improving your squatting techniques.
Wednesday: Back squat with slightly increased strength. (3 x 1 90% 1RM) Notice how the number of reps has gone down to accommodate the increased strength.
Thursday: Slowly back down off of back squat for a while so as to not get burnt out too quickly. Try out three sets of two reps in 60/70% 1 RM.
Friday: Slow it down even further with consistent reps. 3 x 5 50% 1RM in three sets of five reps.
Saturday: Repeat the previous day's instructions as it's the most basic one. You can also try out a new form of squatting just out of curiosity.
Isn’t Squatting Every Session Too Much?
Yes, squatting every session is definitely way too much. And there are multiple studies that confirm that squatting more than the required amount won’t really provide more benefits.
Rigorous squatting sessions focus on these things –
- High frequency
- High intensity
- High specificity
Now the main goal is to receive an insane amount of strength, right? At least that's what the focus points seem to glorify over here. But, nope. That's where you're wrong.
Multiple studies have confirmed that there's no direct correlation between strengthening and high-frequency exercises. As in, you can work out for hours on end but it won't necessarily guarantee an improvement.
In fact, researchers conclude that performing squats three times a week can generate the same results as doing it everyday. If not better, that is. It all depends on how specific and intense the workout session is for the time being, and not the actual duration.
So, if there's not any higher ground in squatting everyday, what's the point? That's why the answer is yes. Squatting every session is indeed too much, especially for something that generates no extra results.
Squat Variations: 10 Squat Variations Exercises
Lastly, here are a few variations of squatting if you wanted to pick up on it. So that you can diversify the sessions with different forms every day and make it less boring.
1. Basic Squat
As the name suggests, this one’s the most basic form of squatting used in every workout session. The movements are perfect for keeping you in shape and healthy.
To attempt this, keep your legs as apart as the width of your shoulder. Bend down your knees as if to sit and stop when your thighs are parallel to but above the floor. Keep a steady posture and arms parallel to the thighs. Wait a while and then stand and repeat.
2. Side Squat
In side squat, you experience side to side motion alongside the usual front and back. Your starting posture is the same as a basic squat. But while bending, you step a foot out to the side and raise your arms accordingly without stretching.
When your thighs fall parallel to the floor, stand up like that. Bring the still foot to the side one. Repeat by inverting the sides to ensure a proper exercise.
3. Wall Squat
In wall squat, you’ll have the wall to yourself as support. Keep your back straight and then push backwards to stay adjoined to the wall. Slowly step out your feet 10-12 inches in front and bend your knees accordingly. The rest is similar to that of the back squatting sessions.
4. Pile Squat
Pile squats focus on the pelvic areas and strengthen them. Unlike the previous variations, this time you have to keep the legs wider than shoulder-width. Keep your toes pointed out, bend your knees, stay and get back up. Keep your chest up throughout the session.
5. Knee-Drive Squat
Great for strengthening your knee muscles. Start by doing a basic squat. But just as you start to stand back up, drive up your knee as high as possible. Start the next rep immediately and this time drive up the other knee while getting back up. Keep the reps balanced for both feet
6. Side-Kick Squat
Quite the same as the knee-drive squat. But instead of driving up the knees, kick your legs to the side while getting back up. Drop down, do another basic squat, get up and kick back the other leg. Make sure to alternate the legs every time.
7. Single-Leg Squat
Another easy-to-follow but effective variation of squatting. Instead of spreading the legs apart, keep them together. Keep one leg in the air and do a squat on the other leg. Keep both hands in front of you to maintain the balance. And yes, keep switching the legs.
8. Squat Pulse
Squat pulses are mini versions of basic squats. All the steps are the exact same except you never get fully back up in a squat pulse. Halfway through, you drop back down and do another squat.
9. Squat Jacks
Squat jacks are great for full-body workout. Keep your arms behind your head while squatting. And instead of getting back up normally, jump in and out of the position.
10. Dumbbell Squat
Unlike the previous variations, you need equipment i.e. dumbbells to attempt this squat. They are great for strengthening your biceps, quadriceps, etc. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and do a basic squat. Keep your chest up and posture straight to maintain proper balance.
So, should you squat everyday? Well, as the article itself states several times, it all depends on your physical strength. However, I'd personally advise against doing it days on end. Two to three days a week is optimum for maximum output from such workout sessions.
After all, there's no point in exhausting yourself out for no reason at all. If you can maintain a short but to-the-point routine, you don't have to put yourself through such rigorous workouts. Less is almost always more, especially when it comes to exercise programs.