I’m the type of person who, throughout the course of my life, has probably done millions upon millions of bodyweight squats. And no, you are not imagining things when you say that.
I’ve gone through phases in which I would perform high-rep squat workouts for several weeks in a row, as well as phases in which I would use them for warm-ups or even as active rest in between sets.
If anyone is going to know whether or not bodyweight squats create muscle, you’d expect it would be me. Thus, I guess you could say that your best bet is on me.
What Is Bodyweight Squat?
Squats are a form of exercise that include bending your knees, lowering your hips till they are parallel to the ground, and then standing back up to their starting position. They are considered a complex exercise, which implies that they engage a number of different muscle groups simultaneously.
The muscles in your lower body, including as your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, are the ones that are predominantly targeted when you perform squats. Yet, in addition to that, they engage the muscles in your core, your lower back, and other stabilizer muscles.
Squats can be performed in a wide variety of forms, such as front squats, bodyweight squats, weighted squats, barbell squats, and many more.
Squats are a common form of lower body workout since they are one of the most effective ways to improve one’s strength, muscular mass, and endurance.
They also help to enhance balance, stability, and mobility, which is why they are a useful workout for athletes and those who are interested in improving their fitness at any level.
Benefits Of Doing Bodyweight Squats.
Squats with only your bodyweight come with a number of advantages, including the following:
Squats using only your own bodyweight engage a number of different muscle groups in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. This can help you gain strength and endurance in these muscle groups over time as you continue to do it.
- When performing squats, you have to keep your balance and remain stable while lowering and raising your body. This can help improve your balance and stability in your lower body, which in turn can help enhance your balance and stability across your entire body.
- You need a good range of motion in your hips, knees, and ankles in order to perform squats. If you execute bodyweight squats on a regular basis, you may find that your flexibility and mobility in these joints improve over time.
- Squats are a type of complex exercise that train a number of different muscle groups simultaneously. This type of exercise can assist elevate your heart rate and speed up your metabolism. Even after you’ve finished your workout, this can help you burn more calories and fat than you would have otherwise.
- Squats using only one’s own bodyweight can be performed anyplace and do not require the use of any special equipment. Because of this, you can perform them anywhere—at home, in the park, or even while you’re traveling—which makes them a really practical form of exercise.
Squats using only your own bodyweight are an excellent form of exercise that may help you build strength, improve your balance and stability, increase your flexibility, and rev your metabolism. Also, you don’t need any special equipment to perform these squats.
Do Bodyweight Squats Build Muscle?
Squats using only your own body weight are a great exercise for beginners looking to increase muscle. Yet, it will be difficult for an advanced athlete who already has significant leg mass as a result of resistance training to grow muscle using bodyweight squats alone.
The recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which is favorable for hypertrophy, will eventually take over from the slow-twitch muscle fibers that are recruited during highly high-rep bodyweight squat training.
Bodyweight Squats Can Or Cannot Build Muscle For Everyone.
As you can see, there is no conclusive solution to this question.
Every type of exercise, even if performed by someone who has never before focused on developing their leg muscles, can ultimately lead to an increase in the size and strength of those muscles.
When you put this into perspective, it makes perfect sense.
Using your muscles against some kind of resistance, which might include training with your own bodyweight, is the single most important thing you can do to build muscle mass.
If you have never worked out your legs before and then all of a sudden start doing between 100 and 200 bodyweight squats every day, you are going to put on some muscle.
On the other hand, if you go to the gym on a regular basis and perform several sets of back squats with a barbell weighing 225 pounds, a couple of times per week, then performing bodyweight squats will most likely not have the same effect.
Squatting with one’s own bodyweight would not feel like much more than a routine for warming up to an accomplished trainee, given the circumstances.
Hence, you could say that bodyweight squats are effective for building muscle for novice trainers, but that they are not effective for building muscle for experienced trainees.
But the reality is that this is a pretty simplistic way to look at things, and there is actually a great deal more to it than this.
Bodyweight Squats Are Not All-Round Workouts For Leg Exercise.
Squats performed using only one’s own bodyweight and squats performed with some type of resistance are not the same thing at all.
Although you are utilizing the exact same movement pattern, and you will be working many of the same muscles, the intensity of the workout will not be comparable in any way.
Squatting with your own bodyweight and squatting with a barbell will both work your quads and glutes, and this is a good illustration of this point.
Unfortunately, bodyweight squats do not activate the hamstrings nearly as much as other exercises do.
Having said that, I am aware for a fact that performing barbell squats causes many trainees to experience moderate hamstring pain following the exercise.
Also, bodyweight squats do not effectively activate the calves, whereas barbell squats will undoubtedly activate the calves to a far higher amount, despite the fact that they will not cause your calves to swell up.
You may just exercise barbell squats to develop incredibly muscular legs, particularly in your quadriceps and glutes. This is a realistic option.
Even though the hamstrings and calves are only being worked as secondary muscle groups, you should still be able to achieve some degree of growth in these regions as well.
Squats using only one’s own bodyweight, on the other hand, most certainly do not have this effect.
Balance Out Your Leg Exercises Using Your Own Bodyweight.
Nowadays, it is feasible to gain muscle with bodyweight training, and this is true even if you are an accomplished trainee who has spent a lot of time doing resistance training in the past. Bodyweight training is becoming increasingly popular.
But, in order to accomplish this goal, you will need to ensure that your training with bodyweight leg exercises is balanced.
Glute bridges should be performed, both bilaterally and unilaterally, according to my training regimen for this (both legs and single-leg).
In addition, you should begin using plyometric exercises in your routine, in addition to sprints.
And if you really want to give those hamstrings a good workout, you should definitely add some uphill sprints in your routine.
The purpose of this is not just to provide you with a more effective training program across the board, but also to make certain that you engage a variety of different muscle fibers.
Squats using only your bodyweight are an excellent exercise for targeting your slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are more concerned with muscular endurance.
Therefore, you should focus more on your fast-twitch muscle fibers if you want to increase your muscular mass.
And would you believe it?
You’ve got it, both plyometric exercises and sprinting will engage the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your muscles.
Plyometrics, on the other hand, do not require you to perform any complex movements.
The intended outcomes can be attained with the simple execution of jump squats, box jumps, depth jumps, and even jumping over boxes.
The Importance Of High-Rep Squat Workouts Done With Bodyweight.
In most cases, we look at the process of gaining muscle, as well as the various training programs, as being pretty cut and dry in terms of what is required.
As an illustration, you have most likely come across anything comparable to this:
There is some validity to this statement; nevertheless, there is research that demonstrates that the key to successful muscle gain is a combination of reaching muscular fatigue and increasing the total amount of time spent training.
In practice, this means that if you execute three sets of thirty repetitions of barbell back squats, not only will you likely increase your muscular endurance, but you will also likely increase the amount of muscle mass you have.
Although if your legs might not end up looking like huge tree trunks, there is little doubt that you will still put on muscular mass if you continue to exercise regularly.
Nathan Jones discusses training volume and muscle building in a great deal more detail than anyone else.
The “Mysterious” Evidence That Doing Squats With Your Own Body Weight Builds Muscle.
There are actually a good number of examples of legendary sportsmen who have used bodyweight squats as their only form of leg training in order to achieve the most incredible legs.
One thing that all of these athletes have in common is that they train at very high volumes.
The Great Gama is widely considered to be the most famous bodyweight squatter of all time.
It is difficult to put a precise estimate on the amount of squats that this famous Indian wrestler performed in a single day, but the number 5,000 is the one that is most frequently mentioned.
These were called baithak, which are also known as Hindu squats.
Gama had an incredible body, highlighted by his thighs that measured 30 inches in circumference each.
It is reported that Charles Atlas, who is considered to be one of the most prominent bodybuilders of all time, would execute 600 bodyweight squats every single day.
After that, there is Henry Lenz, who is also a bodybuilder and a wrestler.
By performing high-volume squats with their own bodyweight, they were able to develop some of the most impressively muscular physiques.
Personally, I think this has a lot to do with also engaging the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which can clearly contribute to greater muscle mass. This is something that I believe plays a significant role.
Yes, I am aware that I have stated that performing bodyweight squats will typically work the slow-twitch muscles, which is not ideal for increasing muscular size.
On the other hand, performing such a large number of repetitions causes your body to practically “burn out” as a result of the activation of slow-twitch muscle fibers.
This indicates that those muscle fibers with a fast-twitch response are now working, which will contribute to an increase in overall muscle growth.
If you are an experienced trainee and want to grow muscle with bodyweight squats, the moral of the story is that you need to go BIG in order to achieve your goals.
Although you won’t achieve the same results as you would with heavy barbell squats, performing very high reps of bodyweight squats during your workouts will undoubtedly help your legs develop more muscle mass.
Variations Of Bodyweight Squat
There are several variations of bodyweight squats that you can incorporate into your workout routine to make it more challenging and target different muscles. Here are some of the most common variations:
Basic bodyweight squat
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards, and lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Keep your chest up and your back straight, and make sure your knees are tracking over your toes. Return to the starting position by pushing through your heels.
Narrow stance squat
Similar to the basic squat, but with your feet closer together, hip-width apart or even touching.
Wide stance squat.
Similar to the basic squat, but with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointed outwards. This variation places more emphasis on the glutes and inner thighs.
Perform a basic squat, but when you come up, jump explosively into the air, landing softly back in the starting position.
Stand on one leg with the other leg straight out in front of you, and lower your body down until your thigh is parallel to the ground, keeping your back straight and chest up. Return to the starting position by pushing through your heel.
Bulgarian split squat.
Stand with one foot in front of the other, resting the top of your back foot on a bench or step behind you. Lower your body down until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, keeping your back straight and chest up. Return to the starting position by pushing through your front heel.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended in front of you. As you lower your body down into a squat, raise your heels off the ground and shift your weight forward onto your toes. Return to the starting position by pushing through your toes.
This variation involves standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and pointing your toes outwards. You then squat down, keeping your knees in line with your toes.
This variation involves standing with your back against a wall and sliding down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, holding the position for a set amount of time.
These variations can help to target different muscle groups and add more variety to your workout routine. However, it’s important to maintain proper form throughout each exercise to avoid injury and maximize results.
One Last Thing.
Squats using only your bodyweight are an effective way to build muscle, particularly for individuals who are just starting out in the world of resistance training. Squats are a type of compound exercise that target numerous muscular groups at once. These muscle groups include the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and abdominal muscles. Squats using only your own bodyweight are an excellent way to put your muscles to the test and encourage new muscular growth.
However, the degree to which bodyweight squats can help you gain muscle is dependent on a number of factors, such as your present level of fitness, the frequency, intensity, and volume of your exercise. If you want to keep growing muscle with bodyweight squats, you might need to raise the intensity of the workout or add resistance by utilizing dumbbells, resistance bands, or some other type of exercise equipment.
Finally, performing squats with only one’s own bodyweight can be an efficient method for gaining muscle, particularly for those who are just starting out in the world of resistance training. On the other hand, if you want to keep making progress, you might need to switch up your workout and include some new exercises or resistance training methods after some time.
Squats performed using only one’s own bodyweight have been shown to increase the stamina, power, and strength of the lower body muscles. In addition to those benefits, this exercise helps increase mobility and strengthens the core, which in turn lowers the chance of injury.
Building your leg and core strength, improving your muscle endurance in your lower body, and establishing a habit are all excellent reasons to perform one hundred squats every day. In addition to merely increasing the amount of steps you take by walking, this is an excellent way to incorporate additional physical activity into your daily routine.
Squats performed at either a slow or a rapid pace provide benefits, but the pace at which you perform them should be determined by your level of experience and the outcomes you seek. Squats performed at a faster pace are more beneficial for athletes competing in power sports who want to increase their explosiveness. On the other hand, squats performed at a slower pace are more beneficial for honing squat technique, developing hypertrophy, and building strength.