Exercises and diet play a primary role when it comes to weight loss. Exercise like the squat is important to strengthen, tone, and build lower body muscle. But, does squatting help you lose weight?
Weight loss is a complex process that requires you to follow a restricted diet and high-intensity exercises. High-intensity squat workouts have a positive impact on weight loss and may reduce 4 to 6 percent of body fat in a couple of months if done consistently (you’ll see more details below in this article).
However, losing weight is more about calorie management, meaning if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns during the entire day.
Do squats help you lose weight?
Yes, doing squats can help you reduce 4 to 6 percent of body fat in 8 weeks of the training period. It means if you weigh 70kg and do 100 bodyweight squat three to four times a week, then may lose 3kg in just 2 months.
The 8 weeks of body mass-based squat training significantly decreased body fat by 4.2 percent and increased lean body mass by 2.7 percent in young males – according to research conducted by the Journal of Sport Science and Medicine.
Here’s complete summary of the above research:
- Purpose: To determine the effects of squat training on body composition, muscular strength, and motor fitness in young males.
- Number of sessions: 45
- Squats/day: 100
- Duration of training: 8 weeks
- Reduction in body fat- 4.7 percent
- Increase in lean body mass- 2.3 percent
- Muscle thickness increased by – 3.2 percent
How Do Squats Help You Lose Weight?
Squats may help you lose weight in the following ways:
- Doing squats at high intensity increases VO2 max, meaning your body utilizes the maximum amount of oxygen during exercise. As a result, you’ll burn more calories that will help you stay in a calorie deficit and lose weight.
- Squats boost metabolism and quickly convert foods into energy. And when you’re in a calorie deficit they will use stored fat as energy during the workout and speed up weight loss.
What are The Best Squats for Weight Loss?
The squat has multiple variations and doing them all may not be effective for weight loss. Below are the top 5 bodyweight squats that can help you lose weight at home.
1. Jump Squat
Squat jump is one of the best squats for weight loss as it will help you burn nearly 100 calories in just 5 minutes.
Steps to perform jumping squat:
- Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Push up your hips back to squat down until you go into a seated position and maintain a flat back.
- Keep your core and Glutes engaged, and pushing through your into the floor, jump explosively in the air (as high as possible).
- Land on your entire feet to complete one rep and go for the next repetitions.
- Try to perform as many reps and quickly as possible.
2. Squat Thrust
The squat thrust is one of the exercises you’ll usually see in a weight loss workout program. Doing squat thrust burn more calories, increase VO2 max and enhance metabolic rate.
- Standing in the hip-width stance, push your hips backward, to lower your body into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor, and spine as neutral as possible.
- Engaging your abdominal muscles, kick your feet backward so you’re in a plank position.
- Now, reverse the steps to return to the standing position. That will be your one repetition.
- Try to perform as many reps and quickly as possible.
3. Lateral Squat
The lateral squat is a lower body workout that also works on the core and helps you improve body composition. Doing this squat at a higher intensity will allow your body to release more calories.
- Stand upright in the hip-width stance.
- Take your feet out to the side so that they are slightly wider than shoulder-width and toes pointing forward.
- Shift weight onto the right heel and slightly push your hips back to lower down into squat on the left side, keeping your right leg as straight as possible.
- Pushing through your right heel into the ground return to the standing position and repeat the same on the opposite to complete one rep.
- Do as many repetitions as you can.
4. High-intense Regular Squat
Performing the regular squats at higher intensity allows you to burn extra calories. When I want to burn more calories in a short amount of time, I used to do 200 regular squats in 5 to 6 minutes that helps me release nearly 100 calories.
How to do a regular squat:
Standing in the shoulder-width stance, slightly push your hips backward, bend your knees to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then press your heels into the ground return to the standing position. Do each rep as quickly as possible.
5. Air squat
Air squat can work effectively if you want to burn additional calories and lose weight. It is a calisthenic exercise which usually included in a weight loss workout regime.
To do air squat,
- Stand in the hip to shoulder-width stance with your toes pointed slightly outward.
- Keep your arms straight at your sides and chest up.
- Pushing your hips backward, squat down until your hips are just below your knee level.
- Bring your arms forward as you lower your body into a squat.
- Pressing your heels into the floor return to the starting position.
- Keep your lower body and core engaged throughout the movement.
- Do as many repetitions as possible.
At What Intensity Should I Do Squats To Lose Weight?
Doing squats at higher intensity such as 85 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate allows your body to release more calories and support weight loss.
High intense squat workouts increase your heart rate, increase metabolism and VO2 max that help you burn more calories, and promote weight loss.
How Many Squats Should I Do Every Day To Lose Fat?
100 squats, doing different types of hundred squats three to four times a week can help you lose weight.
However, you must take care of your calorie intake, meaning eat always fewer calories than your burn during the whole day to lose weight.
How Many Calories Do Squats Burn?
To calculate the number of calories your body burn while squatting, you need to take into consideration your body weight, the number of squats you do, and the intensity of the training.
For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds releases 50 calories in 5 minutes of squatting. And this will increase as you increase timing and intensity.
Does Doing Only Squats Everyday Help You Lose Weight?
Doing only squats may help you lose weight but not significantly. Weight loss is a complex process and takes time, consistency, and dedication.
If you’re serious about weight loss, do the following things:
- Stay in a calorie deficit
- Do consistent high-intensity and weight training
- Follow time-restricted fasting
- Go to bed early, sleep 6 to 8 hours and wake up early
What are The Benefits of Doing Squats for Weight Loss?
- Doing squats can burn more calories than jogging per minute.
- Squats will increase lean muscle mass and muscle thickness.
- Squatting will improve your body composition by shedding fats.
- Squats activate metabolic and hormonal responses to help you lose weight.
- Performing squats will enhance your overall conditioning.
- Squats are one of the adaptable functional exercises you can do anywhere you like, such as at home or in the gym.
Do Squats Help You Lose Weight on Your Stomach?
Squats may not help you reduce belly fat directly. However, doing squats consistently can reduce body fat percentage including stomach fat.
Bodyweight Squats or Weighted Squats for Weight Loss?
Doing squats as quickly as possible triggers your metabolic and VO2 max, and helps you burn more calories in a short amount of time compared to the weighted squats.
However, most of the weighted exercises are anaerobic in nature, meaning they break down glucose for energy without using oxygen, weighted squats are one of them. And this type of exercise also helpful when it comes to weight loss.
So try mixing both types of squat exercises along with high-intense bodyweight and weight training to lose fat.
The Bottom Line
Squats are easy to perform and require no special equipment. You can do them anywhere and anytime you like. Squats may help you lose weight and improve lean body mass and body composition in the long run. But you shouldn’t rely on them only. They are primarily lower body exercises and strengthen and tone your lower body muscles.
It would be best to combined squats with other strength-training exercises, HIIT bodyweight workouts, and functional movement, so you can reduce body weight quickly. And make sure you follow a calorie deficit diet.