Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Why Squats Are Essential For Lower Body Strength

By John Petruzzi, Exercise Specialist

No other exercise effectively strengthens the lower body like squats.  We all hate them because they are hard and make our legs feel like Jell-O, but there is a reason why squats are regarded as the “king of exercises.”  The squat strengthens the supportive ligaments, connective tissue and muscles to help support and relieve joint pain and joint weaknesses.  What I suggest for most patients with some form of arthritis issues, knee replacement or ligament surgery is to start doing squats from a seated position.  We call these box squats and they are the most effective way to relieve hip stress while still effectively working the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.  If squatting from a seated position is still difficult I suggest placing a chair in front of you to help support you to make the movement less difficult. Partial squats as a knee replacement exercise after surgery will help you start to bend your surgical knee.

Find a sturdy chair or counter top. While standing, hold on to the back of the chair or the counter top. Place your feet 12 inches from the chair or counter top. Slowly begin to lower your body toward the floor as you bend your knees. Do not bend your knees further than 90 degrees or attempt to bend all the way down. Make certain to keep your back straight. Hold this knee bend for 10 seconds. Slowly return your body to the standing position. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise five times. In most cases joint pain and weakness are just that, a weakness that has to be strengthened in order to alleviate the pain or issue.  It also can be a condition issue where the supportive muscle groups and ligaments are not prepared to handle certain tasks or stresses so we have to become better physically conditioned in order to handle a more demanding load or task.  Just remember, every weakness can get stronger, every situation can get better, and there are no excuses.

Contact us for more information or visit our Exercise Videos page for simple exercises you can do at home.

References: – Crystal Welch