Squats target a wide variety of major muscle groups at the same time. Once you ace the basic squat (which is a part of almost all workout plans for men), you realise that this is probably one of the best fitness workout for your legs. Though squats are hard to begin with and dreaded by most people at the gym, the benefits are plenty! Both bodyweight squats and weighted squats have their own set of benefits and reap results in the long run. But which one wins the workout race? Let’s find out…
Benefits Of Doing Bodyweight Squats
1. No equipment needed
2. Bodyweight squats build a good foundation of strength for beginners.
3. Help in increasing flexibility of the legs.
4. Bodyweight squats are great for conditioning.
5. Relatively safer than weighted squats. However, there are chances of injuries due to overuse.
Benefits Of Doing Weighted Squats
1. Weighted squats are one of the best mass building exercise.
2. Extremely helpful in building strength
3. Build back and abdominal ability to support large weights
4. Weighted squats are also an effective conditioning movement.
As we can see, both bodyweight squats and weighted squats are packed with benefits for your muscle and fitness growth. So, which of these is a better fitness workout for the long run? “Bodyweight squats are good to start with. On a strong base, you can build a building but a weak base will not be able to withstand the external load,” says Puneet Sharma Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Poliquin Performance Specialist Coach and Biosignature Practitioner. Bodyweight squats are great for beginners who want to build their base of strength, conditioning and flexibility. However, once your body gets used to weighted squats, they can become a little too easy beyond a point.
Drawbacks Of Bodyweight Exercises:
While it’s possible to continuously challenge your upper body, bodyweight exercises for the legs can get mundane after a point. Once your body is conditioned to bodyweight squats, even one-legged squats can become too easy to do. A large number of reps will also show very little effect once this happens. This is when weighted squats come in.
The most basic advantage of weighted squats is that you can increase your load gradually and take your leg workout quite far. “TRX squat, wide stance bodyweight squat, shoulder width squat, narrow squat, split squat, front foot elevated squat, rear foot elevated squat are some good bodyweight squats one can try,” says Puneet.
“Bodyweight squats are better for beginners because form is important before loading the body with extra weight,” says Puneet.
“The best way to start with squats is to master bodyweight squats and then start progressing slowly to added weight on the bar,” concludes Puneet.