As much as we'd like to believe it, fitness isn’t just about endless cardio or bench-pressing yourself to meathead central. It requires judicious moves that tone more than just your pecs and biceps. One move that has clawed its way back into the spotlight is the squat.
As popular as it has become because of the “belfie” or butt selfie craze—and we’re not complaining—the squat helps you power up your lower body, strengthen your back and improve overall body balance. If you work out regularly, it is probably already a part of your regime. If not, you should begin with body-weight squats, feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder-width apart with the toes slightly pointed out and hands folded at the shoulders or stretched straight out, elbows locked. Bend at the hips, keeping your knees in line with your toes till your thighs are lower than parallel to the ground. Add weight every two weeks of regular working out. Aim for 50 per cent of your body weight eventually.
Studies in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science have found that the squat works every lower body muscle group, while the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research reports that squatting below horizontal—or when your thighs are lower than parallel to the ground—maximises glute muscle recruitment. Meaning you need to go deeper than you have probably been. In addition, studies published in