If you’re looking to shed some pounds, you’ve probably heard of the wonder drug known as Squatting.
Also known as weight lifting, the act of getting down on your haunches and lifting heavy objects is said to offer numerous health benefits.
While squats are an essential part of any workout, how many should you do to lose weight? We looked into the science to find out.
The Science Of Squats
In 1879, German physician Dr. August Neureuter suggested that squatting might be therapeutic for patients with rheumatism.
The next year, Neureuter published a book called The Normal Use and Abuse of the Squat Exercise. In this book, Neureuter argued that squats were important for both men and women, especially those who spent a lot of time sitting down.
Neureuter believed that squats increased the body’s oxygen consumption and strengthened the heart and muscles. These benefits encouraged people to do more squats as a form of exercise.
However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that scientists started to study how effective squats are in weight loss. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine in 1968 compared the effects of three different workouts on body weight in women.
The first group of women in the study spent forty-five minutes a day, five days a week, doing leg extensions (raising the legs in the air while in a sitting position).
The second group spent thirty minutes a day, five days a week doing squats with weights.
The third group walked for forty-five minutes a day, five days a week. This group didn’t do any other kind of exercise.
The researchers found that the women who did squats lost more weight than the other two groups, and they attributed this to the increased metabolic activity caused by the movement.
How Many Squats Should You Do To Lose Weight?
Based on the science, we can conclude that squats are more effective at boosting your weight loss than extended leg movements or walking. So, if you want to shed some pounds, you should do more squats. How many should you do? It depends on you, but the general recommendation is to do ten to twenty squats for three sets of ten.
In a 2010 study, researchers from the University of Western Australia set out to compare the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), and a control group on weight loss in overweight and obese men and women. All of the study participants were asked to do three sets of ten squats every day for three months.
The researchers found that the men in the HIIT group significantly lost more weight than those in the MICT group and the controls. However, the women in the MICT group lost the most weight. This suggests that while squats are more effective at boosting weight loss in men, different exercises should be used with women in order to achieve optimal results.
Why Is It Important To Understand The Effective Dose Of Squats?
A high-quality study from the Mayo Clinic in 2012 put the “effective dose” of squats to the test. In the study, the researchers enrolled a group of individuals who were all overweight or obese (BMI > 28). The participants were then asked to do ten squats three times a week for four weeks. However, after the fourth week of workouts, the researchers increased the volume of squats performed by the participants while keeping the same workout frequency. At the end of the study, the individuals who did the higher volume of squats lost more weight than those who did the original ten squats every week.
In a nutshell, the study found that the more frequent the squats, the more weight lost. However, the amount of weight lost also depended on the volume performed. For example, doing ten squats three times a week for four weeks is considered an “effective dose,” but doing the same amount of squats every day for twelve weeks would be considered “high volume.”
So, if you’re looking to shed some extra pounds, the first thing you should do is choose a workout routine. After you determine the type of routine you’ll use, it’s time to set a frequency and volume for each exercise. Only then should you start weight losing.