I never thought I’d be writing an article about the “Benefits of Squatting Daily”.
I mean, come on, I’m a guy, surely I should be benching and doing bicep curls every day just like every other “gym bro”.
Admittedly, I’ve never been into the chest and bicep routine that many seem to follow, but during my early days of training I certainly let my leg workouts lag behind everything else.
However, not anymore.
I’d like to dispel the myths around squatting daily, then introduce you to what I do in terms of performing squats every day, as well as providing you with the fantastic benefits I have achieved from doing this.
The Myths About Squatting Every Day
The mere mention of squatting daily typically conjures up two questions in most people’s minds:
- Does this mean that I have to perform heavy barbell squats every single gym session throughout the week?
- Will completing 100 daily bodyweight squats suffice for leg development.
Pure and simple, the answer to both questions is NO.
I’m not entirely sure why, but whenever anyone talks about squatting daily our minds automatically assume this means the heavy barbell squat.
Anyone who regularly squats under the bar will know just how taxing this is on the body (and the central nervous system).
In fact, you would be loathed to attempt any further barbell back squats after a leg session for at least another 2-3 days, and in most cases until the following week.
As for performing 100 bodyweight squats every day, well in reality this is aimed at those who are either fairly new to exercise or looking to lose some weight.
I’m sure we’ve all seen these “30-day challenges” where you start out performing 10 or 20 squats daily and increase the number of reps every day of the week until you’re performing 100 bodyweight squats.
Don’t get me wrong, this type of workout has its place, and will be fantastic for anyone looking to get into exercise or perhaps wanting to be more active.
However, if you’re already active, or exercise to a fairly high level, then 100 daily bodyweight squats simply won’t cut it.
You won’t be building much muscle, power, or strength with the humble (and most basic version) bodyweight squat.
For me, 100 bodyweight squats may serve as part of my warm up or one portion of a “finisher” following my main workout.
Basically, it’s all relative to your current fitness levels.
How Do I Squat Every Day
I guess I’ve been squatting on a daily basis for just over a year now, but I have had at least 2 or 3 weeks without any leg work (and one week without any exercise at all) just to have a little break and to keep things fresh.
However, I like to mix it up, in terms of the type of squat I’m performing, the weight (or lack of) that I’m using, and indeed the reps and sets that I’m completing.
I will admit that I do have a specific day when I perform heavy barbell back squats and another day when I perform 100 bodyweight squats (as part of my warm up), but then I don’t touch these two exercises again for the rest of the week.
So, that’s two squatting days of week accounted for.
I typically train 5 or 6 days a week, depending on how I feel, but the first part of my workout is always dedicated to squats.
I have a day when I like to concentrate on my lower body, but more specifically hips and glutes.
On this day I perform 3 sets of Bulgarian split squats, normally 6-8 reps, and then move onto the remainder of my workout.
I have another day which I class as “pull day” and this will involve the deadlift, as well as various rows, pull ups, chin ups, etc.
Prior to the deadlift, just to warm me up, open up the hips and fire up the lower body, I’ll perform 5 to 6 sets of moderate-weight goblet squats.
I perform my goblet squats with a single dumbbell in sets of 10 reps and will go heavier with each set.
I have a specific bodyweight training day (quite often 2 or 3 a week, once again depending on how I’m feeling) and I’ll usually perform a few sets of jump squats.
Finally, if I’m feeling it, another day (perhaps an upper body “push” day) I’ll perform 2 sets of front squats, but with a fairly easy weight for about 12-15 reps.
So, as you can see, I’m quite clearly squatting every day.
However, I’m not repeating the same exercise over-and-over again.
There’s a great deal of variety when it comes to squats. My rep-ranges, sets and intensity levels also change day-to-day.
I will admit that it was a bit of a struggle to begin with.
In fact, I was ready to give up after the first week (I felt a little drained of energy towards the end of the week and I even had an hour-long nap following my workout a couple of times).
However, as with everything exercise-related, the body soon adapts.
By week two I was comfortably squatting daily and by the third week I was making changes, i.e. adding weight, shorter rest periods, more reps, etc.
With that said, I still made sure that it didn’t impact on my main workout, and my daily squats were contained to no more than 15 minutes.
By the fourth week, well the benefits of squatting daily were plain for all to see.
15 Squat Variations
The 5 Benefits of Squatting Every Day
1. Daily Squatting Makes You Lean
I actually stopped doing any cardio (although I was never really that much into it to begin with) after about 6 weeks.
I found that I was dropping body fat and getting really lean from my newfound daily habit.
I would say this is because you are exercising the biggest muscles in the body through squatting, namely the glutes and quads.
I have mentioned many times before that by simply training the biggest muscles you’re going to get the most “bang for your buck”.
My metabolism must have also been going through the roof, so I was typically burning fat non-stop.
I will say that at one stage I felt I was getting a little too lean and this was impacting on my strength, but a few tweaks to my diet and nutrition soon sorted this out.
In fact, I even went through another period where I was eating pretty much anything I wanted to (and lots of it) and it wasn’t making any difference to my body fat stats.
However, I soon decided that sensible eating was the way forward (but I never felt guilty about cheating on the odd-day or two).
2. My Ab Development Was Amazing
The coveted 6-pack abs started showing through after a couple of months and I credit this mainly to the goblet squats and front squats.
By holding a weight in front of you, as opposed to on the back of your shoulders or by your sides you are recruiting your core muscles much more.
The core needs to stabilize in order to perform the goblet and front squat with proper form and this was having a huge effect on my abs.
3. An Increase in Upper Body Strength and Muscularity
I have often read about the “knock-on” effect to the upper body by training the lower body, but had never experienced it myself before.
However, once I started performing the different types of squats every day, I saw the impact it was having.
Once again, this could have a lot to do with working the largest muscles of the body.
It may be because the daily squats are firing up your central nervous system.
It may even be because of how you’re holding the weights.
The barbell back squat will definitely recruit muscles in the lats and traps, I’m sure Bulgarian split squats will have an effect on your forearms and traps, whereas we already know what the goblet and front squats are doing for the abs.
Whatever the reasons, squatting this often was doing things to my upper body that many years of specific upper body training hadn’t managed before.
4. Improved Mobility
The last thing I ever expected from daily squats was improvements in my mobility, especially in my hips and ankles.
I will also say that any twinges I occasionally had in my knees or lower back were totally gone.
I’m so used to squatting heavy once or twice a week and then moving about precariously and at a snail’s pace thereafter that I assumed squatting every day would be the same (if not worse).
Well, definitely not.
My mobility was fantastic and I definitely felt more flexible and athletic.
Goblet squats will definitely help to perfect squat technique and improve your mobility.
Simply sit back down into the squat, ensuring your elbows are tucked inside your knees at the bottom of the movement (and you can even push the insides of your legs outwards with your elbows), and maintain an upright and tall spine.
A few hundred goblet squats over a few weeks and you should find this “perfect technique” transfers to all your other squat variations.
5. It Improves Your Posture
I’m typically hunched over a computer screen for the vast majority of the day, so I was becoming more aware of just how bad my posture is sometimes.
However, this regularly squatting routine made a huge difference.
I would say this again is due to core activation, as well as trap, lat and upper back engagement, and I definitely felt as I was standing a little straighter and taller.
I even found that I was sitting more upright throughout my working day.
An Additional (and the most obvious) Benefit
My quads, glutes, and hamstrings were in far better shape than they ever had been before.
My legs were solid. They looked strong and powerful.
Plus the daily squat training made my body look far more symmetrical.
I’m not saying I had tiny sparrow legs, but my upper body had always been better developed than my lower body.
All-in-all the benefits of squatting daily have been fantastic for me.
So, there you have it, the benefits of squatting daily.
As you can see, this doesn’t mean sticking to one type of squat throughout the week.
In fact, I’d highly recommend against it.
I’ve included my current squatting routine, but there are many other varieties of squat that you may wish to implement yourself.
The benefits I’ve mentioned are from my own experiences, but they seem to match those of many others who also like to squat every day.
It will take some getting used to initially, although you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you adapt to this routine, and I’m sure you’ll also be amazed at the results they produce.