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6 Reasons Why Men Should Do Squats

trio of men doing squats with weights

Not a fan of squats? We totally get it.

They seem like a lot of work and little reward.

And yet, you may be surprised to learn that squats are one of the best exercises a guy can do for his health and fitness.

In fact, performing squats regularly can do far more than improve muscle mass. They can reduce disease and prolong your lifespan, too.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, here are three things you should know about squats for men:

  • Squats are a full-body exercise that can enhance your core and improve posture.
  • Squats can lower your risk of disease and increase your confidence.
  • There are many squat variations that will keep you motivated and on-track with your fitness goals.

Still skeptical about the benefits of squats? Here’s the lowdown on squats for men and a few compelling reasons why you shouldn’t skip them—ever.

1. Work Your Core

You want ripped, chiseled abs, don’t you? Hint: do more squats.

When paired with a healthy diet for men, squats can help you get the abs you’ve always wanted.

Depending on the variation of squat, they can work your rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and erector spinae.

And get this: a 2018 study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics compared squats and plank exercises and found that squats were the more effective exercise for activating the core muscles that help support your back (see claim: “…squatting resulted in greater erector spine activation, but similar rectus abdominis and oblique external activation as the prone bridge…”)

If you’re struggling with a little back pain or want a tighter core, don’t neglect squats!

preparing to bench lift weight

2. Increase Muscle Growth and Strength

Forget about steroids for muscle growth.

Squats are the real secret to building muscle quickly (and naturally).

In a 2018 study published in Neuro Endocrinology Letters, researchers found that doing six sets of high-intensity barbell squats could increase growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor and cortisol, hormones that are associated with muscle building and strength increases (see claim: “The 6 sets of squats seems to drive hormonal responses of GH, C and IGF-1…”)

As we age, our production of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) declines significantly.

By performing regular squats, you can maintain optimal GH and IGF levels for increased muscle mass, better exercise performance and more energy.


3. Reduce Risk of Disease

We all know that prolonged sitting is bad for our health.

But could squatting be a better alternative to standing desks?

That’s what a 2020 study published in PNAS is suggesting.

In the study, researchers tracked the activity of the Hazda of Tanzania, a tribe of hunter-gatherers, and noted how the Hazda tended to keep their muscles activated through frequent squatting and crouching.

The Hazda appear to have a lower risk of chronic diseases, which researchers believe is connected to their squatting and kneeling.

So, there you have it. If you’re going to do deskercises at work, make sure you include squats!

4. Post-Workout Calorie Burn

Sure, squats might not burn as many calories as running or cycling, but they offer something just as valuable: post-workout calorie burn.

Strength training exercises like barbell squats can help keep your calorie burn going for hours or even days after you work out.

If you really want to maximize your calorie burn, incorporate squats into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine.

You’ll torch more calories than if you were to do squats or cardio by themselves.

5. Look Good

You do a lot of healthy things because it makes you look and feel good. For instance, eating a balanced diet, following a simple skin care routine, dressing well—you get the picture.

Another thing you should add to that list? Doing squats on the regular.

Squats can make you enhance your appearance by shaping your lower half and making your legs look incredible.

The ladies love guys with toned calves.

You know what else they love? Dudes with a tight backside.

It’s true: the huns love the buns.

Do squats to work that backside, and don’t be surprised when you catch women turning their heads when you walk by.


6. Better Athletic Performance

If you play sports, squats should not be overlooked.

Squats are an excellent full-body workout that can help build muscle strength and increase explosive speed, which can boost your athletic performance tenfold.

There are also endless squat variations that can you can do for cross-training purposes.

From weighted squats to plyometric squats, the variations will help keep you motivated while maximizing your performance on the field.

man doing barbell squat press

Drop It Low (Safely)

When performed correctly, squats are a safe and effective exercise. Here’s how to do a squat the right way:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Put your arms out in front of you for balance
  • Sit back as if you were sitting in a chair
  • Keep your knees behind your toes
  • Keep your chest up

If you want to add weights, make sure that you’re using the proper weightlifting form.

And that’s it. Enjoy the muscle gains, the newfound confidence and the myriad of other benefits that squats for men have to offer.


van den Tillaar, Roland, and Atle Hole Saeterbakken. “Comparison of Core Muscle Activation between a Prone Bridge and 6-RM Back Squats.” Journal of human kinetics vol. 62 43-53. 13 Jun. 2018.

Wilk, Michal et al. “Endocrine response to high intensity barbell squats performed with constant movement tempo and variable training volume.” Neuro endocrinology letters vol. 39,4 (2018): 342-348.

University of Southern California. "Squatting or kneeling may have health benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2020.

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