If you’re looking to burn calories or increase your muscle mass, then there are loads of different exercises that you can do, some from the comfort of your own home, and some that require specialized equipment that you would find at a gym.
One of the most effective exercises that you can do virtually anywhere you feel comfortable is a squat.
Squats are great for building muscle in your thighs, tightening your butt, and even losing weight. Some experts have even claimed that you can burn more calories per minute whilst performing squats than you can whilst sweating on a treadmill.
But for you to maximize your squat workout, there are several things that you need to consider.
Squats are great: they work out your abs, butt, hips, calves, shins, and thighs. They are an easy way to combine strength and cardio into one workout as squats challenge multiple muscle groups at once and are great for increasing your core stability.
As mentioned above, you can also do them anywhere and at any time because they make use of your own body weight, rather and any equipment. Sure, you can make the squat more challenging by using weights, but you don’t need to for the workout to still have an effective workout.
Some people recommend doing squats (or similar exercises like crunches or push-ups) every time there’s a commercial break or in between meetings as a way to fit more exercise into your day, or at least breaking up long stretches of sitting down.
How To Perform a Squat Safely
To perform a squat properly and safely, you need to stand with your feet slightly wider than the width of your hips and toes pointing slightly outwards. Tighten your abs, push your chest out, hold your head up and then shift your weight to the back of your heels as you move your hips backward and down.
Then you need to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor and repeat. As you continue to lower and raise, be sure that you keep your back, chest, and head in the correct position.
And to ensure that you’re breathing properly whilst doing your squats, you want to inhale on the way down, and exhale on the way back up.
A calorie is a unit of energy that we consume through food and drink. If we have an excess of calories then our bodies store that as body fat.
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with calories, or even having body fat, it is recommended that people maintain a healthy balance of eating and exercise so that their body can work at peak performance.
Physiologists are able to determine how many calories an exercise burns based on its metabolic equivalent (MET). This number represents how much oxygen the muscle cells in your body are using at any given time. The more oxygen needed, the more energy that is being burned. Typically, muscles require about 5 calories per liter of oxygen that they require.
When you’re not doing anything (say, just sitting on the sofa, for example) your body uses approximately 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute.
If you were to then do something that required twice that amount of oxygen, then that exercise would have a MET of 2; an exercise that requires three times as much oxygen would have a MET of 3, and so forth.
Resistance training, such as an explosive round of squats, typically has a MET of 5, which is also the same as moderate yard work, or swimming laps at a moderate intensity. The formula that determines the number of calories that you’re burning in an exercise looks like this:
MET x 3.5 x bodyweight in kilograms / 200 = calories per minute
Next time you set out to perform a round of squats (or any other exercise) you will be able to calculate how many calories you’re burning.
How Many Calories Would 100 Squats Burn?
So let’s use that formula and figure out how many calories you’d be burning if you did 100 squats.
It all depends on how fast you’re doing your squats and with what intensity.
For example, if you were spacing out your squats into 4 sets over the course of the day, and just doing 25 reps in each set, then the MET is going to be relatively low, due to the fact that your body wouldn’t require very much extra oxygen in order to perform that action.
So if you happened to be a 180lb person, doing a short 25 rep set of squats that maxes out with a MET of 3, then each set would burn about 9.5 calories per minute. If you did that 4 times a day, you’d be looking at about 40 calories a day.
This isn’t very many, but it’s still something, and you’d be able to feel the difference in your strength and definition around your butt and thighs.
However, if you were to perform an explosive round of squats, and maybe (if your fitness levels or stamina are up to it) get the MET rating up to a 5 and do all 100 squats in one or two sets, then you’d burn nearly 16 calories per minute.
It really just depends on how fast or intense you’re performing your 100 squats, but as always you’re going to want to include squats into a more diverse workout in order to really see some benefits and burn a more significant amount of calories.
However, something is always better than nothing, and if all you can manage daily is breaking up your workday with a few sets of squats, then you’re still doing more for your body than not doing that.