Squats and crunches, work on different muscles and each is done differently from the other. In this article, we will look at how each benefits your body using justified studies from scholars and physical exercise training professionals.
Squats are strength exercises associated with a high risk for lower limbs and trunk injuries. However, when done correctly, it is one of the best physical exercises that people training for endurance athletics and those trying to keep fit can reap numerous benefits.
To minimize the risk of injuries, squats should be done without allowing the restricted knee to pass the anteriorly of the toe. The knee and lumbar do a lot of movements and their effect on the spine changes significantly depending on the load added.
The knee angle, stance width, and speed used when squatting are all put into consideration when assessing the efficiency of squats. The main muscles worked on by this form of exercise include:
• Rectus femoris
• Vastus medialis
• Vastus lateralis
• Biceps femoris
• Gluteus maximus
Benefits of Squats
Squats, as a physical exercise, not only work on muscles but has other invaluable benefits. Some of the best include:
Helps with Burning Calories
Excess calories are associated with lifestyle diseases, which are often chronic. When we talk of burning calories, most people think about running, rope skipping, or cycling. Guess what? Squats help with the same.
Like we have mentioned earlier, squats are a strength exercise. These types of exercises help burn about 233 calories per 30 minutes of intense exercising.
Strengthening Muscles for the Lower Body
The muscles in your lower body are responsible for movement. Think about sitting, walking, getting in and out of bed, kneeling, and bending. Having the muscles in this area is a big deal. They can be strengthened by squats, which also do the toning.
Strong lower body muscles mean added flexibility and reduced pain in this part of the body.
Reducing the Risk of Injury
We said that squats are a high-risk form of exercise. Usually, the risk is caused by a lack of balance and weak muscles. When done under professional supervision, this risk is eliminated.
A professional trainer can help you with gaining balance with the correct posture and mobility. As a result, your muscles and bones become stronger, reducing the risk of injury.
Tips for Doing Healthy Squats
• Avoid doing too many squats than you can actually handle
• Make sure your spine is comfortable
• Be as comfortable as you can
Crunch is a lightweight exercise that aims at strengthening the core, toning, and strengthening abdominal muscles. This exercise is suitable for people of all ages regardless of their gender, race, and religion. Crunches are easy to do, you can do them anywhere and you do not need any strength training or gym equipment.
Sometimes, crunches are confused with sit-ups. The difference between the two is with crunches, you only raise your shoulders and head a bit from the floor, then back. Usually, 30-45 degrees are made.
This exercise does not hurt your back, but wrong movements can injure your spine. The main muscle involved is the rectus abdominis. To avoid injuries, I would always recommend having a professional trainer when starting to guide you on the right way to do it.
Benefits of Doing Crunches
Isn’t it natural to want to understand the benefits of an exercise before embarking on it? Well, let us look at how you can benefit from crunches and if they are worth:
They Help with Core Strength Building
Nowadays, most jobs require us to sit for long hours, leaving us with little to stretch and take care of ourselves. Imagine sitting eight hours on your office chair, then another 1-2 hours behind the wheel. Due to being so inactive, your core becomes weak.
Here is where crunches come in. They help with strengthening the muscles in your core area, which improves your posture and balance. The risks of experiencing back pains reduce.
They Help with Burning Calories
Like squats, you can enjoy reducing some calories in your body, which means better health. For you to notice changes, you ought to be consistent with crunches, otherwise, there will be no effects at all.
In a 10-minute moderate crunch session, you can burn approximately 54 calories and 100 calories when you increase the intensity. Imagine if you were to do something like 100 crunches a day like this guy did. Do a challenge like that daily and you will be shredding the fat faster than you know what to do without it!
Helps with Building Abs
Do you fancy a well-toned abdomen that can stir envy in those around you? Then, this is the right exercise to help you with that. They help you with endurance training for your abdomen muscles, helping you build abs within a few weeks of exercising.
Tips for Doing Crunches
• Do not crunch too high
• Keep the tension on the abs throughout
• Do not pull your neck
Crunches vs. Squats
While squats are used for strengthening the lower part of the body, crunches are used for strengthening the core and muscles around the abdomen.
The two exercises do not need fancy gym equipment to be successful. Instead, a flat, cleanand stable space is enough to get going.
Which Exercise is Better for Core Muscles? Which is Better for Abs?
The best exercise for the two is the crunch. The exercise work on the abdominal muscles, strengthening them enough for endurance. It also helps with strengthening the core, which creates balance and posture.
Which is Better for Losing Belly Fat?
Squats do a better job when dealing with belly fat. Because they help with general body fat loss, it becomes easier to lose fat using this exercise. On the other hand, there is little significance in losing this fat using crunches. Here, they become relevant in toning the belly after the fat has been lost.
Which One is Better for Beginners?
There is no good or bad exercise for beginners. It all depends on your physical exercise goals. For example, if you want to strengthen muscles in your lower body, it would be a terrible idea to think crunches will give you the results you want.
Which of the Exercises is Safer?
Although the two exercises are risky, crunches are considered riskier than squats. However, the risk is associated with how they are done. As mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t recommend anyone who has never trained before to start without an instructor. The damages are worse than spending a few bucks on a professional trainer.
Are these Exercises Gender-Specific?
It is totally wrong to consider training as gender-specific. The two exercises can be done by both men and women for the same purpose. What differentiates the two is their intensity because naturally, men have stronger muscles than women. That is why a professional is needed to recommend the right training intensity for each gender.
As we shift from active lifestyles to passive ones, I recommend doing these exercises simultaneously. I mean, let us not forget to take care of our lower body parts while being obsessed with building abs and strengthening our cores. The vice versa is true.
We should work to achieve an overall body balance, which squats and crunches can help create. If you are always unmotivated to exercise, you can join a fitness club with people with the same goals as yours and celebrate reaching the milestones together.