Do Squats Help You Lose Weight?

People who have just started taking care of their physical fitness often look for beginner-friendly exercises that are convenient and effective. If you are one of them, squats are an ideal multi-purpose exercise. It helps burn fat, strengthening and building muscles in the core, lower back, and legs. Furthermore, squats also improve body balance and overall conditioning.

However, there is a common misunderstanding among beginners that squats help with weight loss, which is partially true and partially false. So, do squats help you lose weight? Can I solely rely upon squats for weight loss?

In this article, we will discuss all the queries related to the connection between squats and losing weight. Read till the very end to learn about different types of effective squats.

Let’s dive in right away.

Does Doing Squats Help You Lose Weight? Benefits of Squats for Weight Loss

Here are the benefits of squats for weight loss and overall body strength.

1. Helps Build More Muscle Mass

When you aim to lose weight, you must also focus on building muscle mass because it helps burn calories.

Several muscle groups in the upper and lower body are activated when doing squats, including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves in the lower body and torso, mid-back, lats, and abdominals in the upper body (trusted source).

Therefore, squatting can be effective for building total body strength and mass.

squatting smith machine

2. Burns Calories

Research shows that squats burn 35 calories per minute, which is higher than almost all other exercises.

In this way, squats help you lose weight.

Furthermore, adding more importance to the squats increases the intensity of the movements and accelerates your metabolism, further increasing the weight loss process.

3. Stronger Body

A squat is a compound exercise, meaning it utilizes a variety of muscle groups compared to isolation exercises like leg compression.

Therefore, squats are excellent for a stronger body.

Boosts metabolism and contributes to weight loss

Over a long period, squats boost your metabolism and produce some natural hormones that stimulate weight loss.

Studies show that the body has testosterone after squatting, which helps burn fat, increase strength, and build muscles.

4. Stronger Mentality

Although being mentally stronger is not directly associated with weight loss, it helps you stay determined and overcome all the challenges you may face during your weight loss journey.

So, incorporate squats in your workout regimen to build mental toughness.

How Do Squats Help You Lose Weight?

Being a compound exercise, squats work on various groups of your body at once. It stimulates anabolic hormone production, which helps lose fat and build muscle mass.

Therefore, squats are essential to a successful weight loss workout routine.

A study shows that bodyweight squatting helps decrease the body fat percentage and increase lean body mass.

What Muscles Do Squats Work?

When you want to lose weight using squatting, you must know all the muscles activated during these exercises.

In this way, you can focus on each power for effective outcomes.

Here is the list of all muscles on which squats work:

  • Quadriceps (front of the thigh)
  • Hamstrings (back of the thigh)
  • Adductor (groin)
  • Calves
  • Gluteus, Maximus, minimus, medius (buttocks)
  • Hip flexor

In addition to the lower body, squatting also targets important muscles in the core. These muscles include:

  • Rectus abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Transverse abdominis
  • Erector spinal

Furthermore, if you do variations of squats, such as back squats or overhead squats, you will also work the muscles in your shoulders, back, arms, and chest.

How to Squat Properly?

Although squats are beneficial and help build stronger muscles and lose weight, they can prove dangerous if you use the wrong technique or incorporate too much weight.

Also, there are many variations of squats, such as:

  • Sumo squats
  • Back squats
  • Goblet squats
  • Zercher squats
  • Front squats

Here are the complete guidelines you must follow when performing a squat:

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and slightly turn in your toes. Straighten your spine, chest open and tall, and shoulders back and down. Keep your feet planted on the ground. Bring your hand in front of your chest for balance.
  • Initiate the squat by bringing down your hips. Bend your knees lower as much as possible. Keep your spine and lower back neutral. Bend down till your thighs become parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale. To stand back up to the starting position, press back your heels.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

Can Squats Help Lose Belly Fat?

Fat around the belly is one of the most stubborn areas regarding weight loss. Although squatting helps lose fat, it doesn’t control which area of the body fat it will target.

Therefore, you cannot spot-train belly fat using squats or other exercises.

belly fat

Furthermore, to reduce belly fat, you must control yourself. That is the most effective way to lose stubborn belly fat.

Types of Squats for Weight Loss

There are many types of squats, but a few are especially effective for weight loss as they enable you to lift a lot of weight, build lots of muscle mass, and burn calories the most.

Here is a brief list of some of the best squat variations for weight loss:

Barbell back squats

This variation allows you to lift the heaviest weights, thus contributing to weight loss while improving leg strength and size.

Bulgarian squats

Bulgarian squats are ideal for burning fat and conditioning the core muscles, and improving stability.

Bulgarian squats require you to squat with all your body weight on one leg. Moreover, it doesn’t retire any equipment.

Jump squats

In this variation, you jump into to air, and it develops your explosive strength. Furthermore, it builds muscle mass at home with your body weight.

Final Thoughts

From the above discussion, the squat is an effective exercise for building muscle mass, conditioning, and strength. Furthermore, you can increase the body’s metabolic rate, stimulating the production of hormones and burning more calories.

Squats are much more effective than other cardiovascular and isolation exercises. However, it would be best if you practiced squatting to perform squats correctly and get advantageous outcomes.

If you wish to lose weight, you should incorporate different variations of squats into your workout regimen to achieve your ultimate fitness goal.

4/5 - (5 votes)


James Moore
James Moore
James is co-founder of He works as a fitness trainer and nutrition specialist. His main mission is to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their sport goals. He believes staying in shape has an overall positive effect on body, mind, and spirit.

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