18 Benefits of Squats for Overall Fitness & Strength Gains

18 Benefits of Squats for Overall Fitness & Strength Gains

Among the seven fundamental movements the human body can perform, the squat reigns supreme. In fact, squat benefits go far beyond the obvious strength gains you can achieve.

In this article, we’ll highlight the different ways squats can help improve your fitness, strength, and overall health.

What Is a Squat?

A squat is a functional exercise in which you bend your knees to lower your hips toward the ground and then straighten them again (similar to sitting down and getting back up from a chair).

While squats are effective for building muscle and improving athletic ability, their significance extends to promoting long-term self-sufficiency, as they mirror key movements integral to daily life.

There are countless variations and types of squats including back squats (using weights placed on your shoulders behind your head), front squats (holding a weight in front of your body), overhead squats (holding a weight above your head), and many others that use different types of equipment and movements.

And because squats can be done weighted or with just your own body weight, they’re ideal for anyone trying to get healthier, regardless of fitness level.

To do a basic bodyweight or weighted squat:

To do a basic bodyweight or weighted squat:

  • Set your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes turned out slightly
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Push your hips back and lower them toward the floor (as if you were sitting down in a chair)
  • Keep your chest up as you move down
  • Once your knees reach a 90-degree angle, push through your heels to stand back up


Keeping your body in the right position is crucial for avoiding injury (especially when you add weight), so be sure you’ve got your form down before varying the types of squats you’re doing. Correct form should always come before adding weight.

What Muscles Do Squats Work?

Squats work all of the muscles in your legs, hips, and core.

The bulk of the activity during a squat takes place in the:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Adductors
  • Hip flexors


While the above muscles are doing most of the work, others — calves, abdominals, lower back, and even a bit of the upper back — are also engaged and working to stabilize the rest of your body.

Strengthening all of these muscles is important regardless of your fitness level. For example, bodybuilders squat to bulk up, runners squat to improve performance, and everyone can squat to enhance quality of life.

Squat Benefits for Fitness and Strength

1) Stronger legs, abs, and lower back

One of the most obvious squat benefits — and the one that gets most people started with the exercise in the first place — is stronger legs. But when you squat, you also strengthen your abdominals and lower back at the same time.

Strong legs, abs, and lower back muscles are essential for fitness and performance, but they’re also important for normal, everyday activities (think: sitting down, standing up, lifting things off the ground, lowering your body to the ground, and much more).

When these muscles are in top shape, you can improve your ability to perform all kinds of work at any age — both during a workout and in daily life.

And when you squat with a barbell and weight plates — or any extra weight, like a Titan Cast Iron Kettlebell or Dumbbell — you can achieve even greater gains.

2) Higher calorie burn

Your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are some of the largest muscles in your body. And when you squat, which incorporates all of those at the same time, you burn more calories overall when compared to doing isolation exercises, like leg extensions and hamstring curls.

So, if your goal is to lose weight, squatting can help make that dream a reality.

3) Improved cardiovascular capacity

It’s pretty much impossible to stand at a Titan Power Rack or Squat Stand and bust out a set of five heavy reps without your heart pumping harder than it was when you started.

This is because the quads, hamstrings, and glutes need a lot of blood when they’re working. To supply that blood, your heart will beat faster and harder, growing stronger and improving your cardiovascular capacity in the process.

4) Better muscle tone

Muscle tone is the amount of tension in your muscles that helps hold your body upright when you’re sitting and standing. More than that, changes in muscle tone actually enable your body to move into and through a variety of natural positions.

Squatting can help increase muscle tone in some of the most important muscles in your body.

5) Increased power

While strength is a measure of the force your muscles can produce, power (a.k.a. explosive strength) is a measure of the amount of work your muscles can perform over a given period of time.

So, for example, weight lifter A may be able to squat 200 pounds for one rep, but it may take them five seconds to reach the top of the movement. Weight lifter B, on the other hand, may also be able to squat 200 pounds, but it only takes them two seconds to reach the top.

Both lifters have the same relative strength, but lifter B has more power than lifter A.

Including weighted squats in your exercise routine can help increase the power you produce in your legs, hips, and back.

That’s why training with Titan barbells and weight plates is a mainstay of many football teams, and fitness enthusiasts from coast to coast.

6) Increased hormone production

When you subject your body to the stress of moving heavy loads, you stimulate its natural hormone response. Typically, this results in an increase in testosterone and growth hormone (which are good for both men and women).

Because squats work some of the largest muscles in the body, they are super effective at stimulating hormone production.

7) Higher, tighter glutes

When swimsuit season rolls around, many turn to spot training exercises to lift and tighten their glutes. But the benefits of squats extend to this area of your body as well.

In fact, because squats work all of the muscles in your core, legs, and hips, they’re actually better at producing higher, tighter glutes faster than lots of smaller exercises for the same muscle groups.

8) Faster sprint

Remember the power we talked about earlier and how the benefits of squats can increase that output? This kind of improvement in power can translate directly into your ability to sprint faster and longer.

Squat Benefits for Health

9) Reduced risk of injury

Injuries often occur because of imbalances and weaknesses throughout your body.

Squats and other weight training activities can help eliminate these imbalances and weaknesses and, as a result, reduce the risk of injury that may occur from normal daily activity.

Athletes of all calibers and experience levels can help reduce the risk of injury both on the field and off with help from the Titan Series Safety Squat Bar or the SquatMax-MD.

10) Increased bone density

Your bones respond to stress just like your muscles. Loading up a barbell with cast iron olympic weight plates and squatting for three sets of five reps can help increase bone density throughout your body.

This is especially important for older individuals and women since bone density plays a big part in their overall health.

11) Stronger joints and ligaments

The parts of your body that bend — and the tissue and ligaments that support them — are inherently weaker than the parts of your body that don’t bend.

Squats can help strengthen some of the largest joints in your body (i.e., knees and hips) and prevent the tissue and ligaments from wearing out.

12) Increased flexibility

When you perform a weighted squat, you’re stimulating growth in the muscle fiber of your legs, hips, and lower back. Adding new muscle fiber actually allows the muscle as a whole to stretch further than it previously could.

13) Improved balance

Have you ever felt off balance when getting out of a chair or standing up from the sofa? Squats can help.

Regularly practicing the squat movement — with weight or without — can build your balance and strengthen the part of your central nervous system that helps you maintain an upright position whether you’re moving or standing still.

14) Improved coordination

As we mentioned, squats involve a lot of muscles in your legs, hips, and back. They even incorporate the smaller muscles in your extremities (i.e., your shoulders, arms, upper back, calves, and ankles) to keep your body in the proper position.

This type of extensive muscle recruitment and control can help you improve coordination not just during exercise, but also during regular daily activities.

15) Better posture

Want to stand taller and help prevent the hunchback position that can happen when you sit for extended periods of time? Add some squats to your exercise routine.

The muscles in your legs, hips, and lower back are the same muscles that can help you stand straighter and maintain better posture throughout the day.

16) Increased mobility

Mobility is the ability to move a part of your body to a certain position without assistance and without undue stress and strain.

Squats can help increase mobility in your legs, hips, and lower back, making it easier to move through a normal range of motion when necessary.

17) Reduced cellulite

The benefits of squats go more than skin deep, but, for most women and some men, this exercise may help reduce a common body complaint: cellulite.

Squatting builds muscle in your thighs and burns fat, thereby reducing the appearance of cellulite.

18) More confidence

Add up all of the squats benefits that we’ve talked about so far and you get one more: confidence!

Squatting can help you get stronger, stand taller, and feel better about yourself and the skin you’re in.

Choose the Best Equipment to Get the Most Gains

One of the best things about squats is that you can do them anywhere, anytime with nothing but your body weight and still experience many of the benefits. But, as you get stronger, you’re going to want to add weight in order to experience all of the benefits squats have to offer.

There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective options is with a power squat rack, barbell, and weight plates.

Regardless of your equipment needs, Titan Fitness can help you find the option that works best for you.

We pride ourselves on offering premium fitness equipment without the premium cost. We use high-grade materials so our equipment will be tough, strong, and reliable for years to come without breaking the bank. Our goal is to help you crush your goals without the weighted stress of a price tag.