Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My partner told me that squats are a basic exercise, that it helps to improve the lungs so you should do squats daily to lift huge weights. Is this true? Are squat exercises helpful to reduce our body weight and belly?

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes! Squatting -- as part of a proper regimen of exercise, eating and rest -- can lead you to lift huge weights, improve lung capacity, or reduce body weight. The squat exercises the body's largest muscles and is one of the most basic functional movements. Until the invention of sitting toilets, squatting was a daily necessity for all humans even into old age.

The benefits you get will depend on how you squat. To name just a few variations, you can squat with a heavy barbell on your back, with a dumbbell held in front of you, or with just body weight; you can do a few reps slowly or many reps quickly.

share|improve this answer
3  
plus one for the sitting toilets comment! –  Pancho Villa Jun 22 '12 at 23:46
1  
yeah that was a good example –  Prince Antony G Jun 23 '12 at 4:26
1  
@J.Winchester-do you think doing too many squats and lunges can lead to thighs getting bigger in size (not what I want)? Thanks! –  Bee Jul 5 '12 at 11:04
1  
@Bee, bodyweight squats and lunges will help your strength, endurance and mobility without having much affect on size. –  J. Winchester Jul 7 '12 at 22:51

Looking at the letter of the question, no, you could do deadlifts instead. But in the spirit of the question, yes, you really should do a compound lift involving your legs and back. Try to pick at least one that you can do safely and without pain (front squat, back squat, ball squat, hack squat, standard deadlift, sumo deadlift). If absolutely none of them work and you've researched how to do them properly (Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and The Insider's Tell-All Handbook on Weight-Training Technique by Stuart McRobert are both good books to look into) then you could do leg presses instead - it's generally accepted that free weights are more productive than machines, but if you get injured doing free weights but not the machines, then in that unfortunate instance, machines are better.

Interestingly, nobody can really agree whether the squat or deadlift is better, even Rippetoe who starts off saying the squat's the best exercise period has a diagram in the back of his book that seems to suggest the deadlift is better. That got a chuckle out of me. I happen to prefer the deadlift because I can perform it more comfortably, also just conceptually because training to lift something heavy off the ground is an incredibly practical movement to train.

As for reducing the belly, I'm a skinny guy but was getting a bit self conscious about my belly sticking out, purely doing deadlifts, overhead presses and pulldowns I got it pulled in a bit. I couldn't really pinpoint which of the exercises was responsible, although I'd be inclined to attribute it to all of them due to the need to stabilise with my core muscles while performing those exercises. I don't have experience myself with fat burning, but I've read from numerous sources (which could be just a bunch of people referring to a single study, I'm not claiming that there's scientific consensus here) that beginners doing weight training see both fat loss and muscle gain.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 good answer. Which diagram do you refer to in your 2nd paragraph? –  Dave Liepmann Jun 25 '12 at 14:45
1  
Figure 8-2 on page 294 of the 3rd edition. –  Robin Ashe Jun 25 '12 at 19:12
1  
Thanks. After checking my copy with that info, it appears to be figure 8-2 on page 287 of the 2nd edition. –  Dave Liepmann Jun 25 '12 at 19:17

"There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a pussy." -Mark Rippetoe So according to Coach Rip, yes you should be squatting. Squats are great for the legs, back, abdominal muscles, etc.

As for reducing your body weight and belly that is far more dependent on what you are eating rather than squatting.

share|improve this answer

There are three basic strength building exercises: squats, deadlifts and bench pressing. Direct to your question: do they help the lungs and should they be done everyday? Any exercise helps lung capacity, it's a common fact that only 31% of Americans get proper exercise, which is considered 2 to 3 hours a week...

So, everyday? with heavy weights? No, you need to set goals and based on those goals develop a workout program that you will follow for a long time (with on-going planned stages of change). Lifting HEAVY everyday a specific body part will lead to injury and boredom and result in leaving you worse off than not doing it.

My recommendation: set your goals (based on what you want and including nutrition), develop a plan (get help if you need developing a good plan) and just do it.

share|improve this answer
2  
I would also add the press (i.e. the overhead press). –  Wayne In Yak Jun 22 '12 at 16:24

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.