The squat is one of the cornerstones of weightlifting and exercise in general. The compound exercise will feature in most people’s workout programs to some degree and for good reason; it is one of the most effective lifts for improving muscle & fitness.
The squat, to some, is the king of lifts as it recruits the largest muscle groups in your body (those in your legs, more specifically your quads and gluteal muscles), thus making it an essential exercise. This, understandably, begs the question; should you squat every day?
Here, we will look at the pros and cons of squatting every day and outline whether you should do it or not.
Should You Squat Every Day?
First off, it’s best to acknowledge that you already squat every day. Daily squatting occurs through everyday movements like sitting down and standing up; you’re activating the same muscles, but just using your body weight instead of any added resistance.
So, when we talk about whether or not you should squat every day, we are referring to daily training sessions where you are actively performing full squats as part of your workout routine.
This is somewhat of an infamous training philosophy that originated in Bulgaria under the guidance of Olympic weightlifting coach Ivan Abadjiev. He had his athletes performing extremely heavy squats every single day of the week; in fact, they would need to perform their one-rep max in their daily training session.
Hitting these daily maxes was only part of what made Bulgaria’s training methods notorious, as there was also an authoritarian element to the regime, with all aspects of the athletes’ lives monitored and controlled.
So, should you be hitting your max squat every day? Not really, no. When you perform heavy squatting, you are overloading the muscles in your legs and they will then need sufficient time to recover. If you’re executing seven squat sessions per week, with daily training, then you’re leaving no time for this recovery process.
There can be exceptions to this, for example, those training for powerlifting competitions. While it might seem like a crazy training method, performing heavy, high-quality squats every day can really enhance your overall strength.
For the average gym-goer though, heavy squats should be performed 1-3 times per week to allow for recovery. That isn’t to say you can’t squat every day, though. On the days you’re not squatting heavy loads, you can perform air squats, box squats, or just squats with less weight.
This way, the training volume within your workout plan is still high but you are not constantly overloading your major muscle groups.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether or not you should squat every day depends on your goals. If you want to build upper body strength, for example, then squatting every day isn’t going to help much. However, if you want to improve your overall squat form or build power in your legs, then it could be a good option.
If you do decide to squat every day, you should ensure to include it in a full-body training program. If you’re exclusively performing squats and nothing else, you’re likely to create muscle imbalances in your body.
Benefits of Squatting Every Day
- Improving Squat Technique. Frequency training – the process of performing the same movements repeatedly – typically leads to better form. If you’re performing squats every day, your muscles are becoming more accustomed to the movement and range of motion, as is your mind and body awareness. Of course, you need to ensure you’re performing the squats correctly and regularly checking your form, and maintaining a decent technique.
- Enhancing Muscle & Fitness. Naturally, by training muscles every day, they are going to grow stronger – provided you’re implementing progressive overload. For squats, this isn’t just your leg muscles but your core muscles as well. This, in turn, can also improve your fitness levels, particularly if you’re performing a high number of reps in each set.
- Everyday Tasks Become Easier. As mentioned, a surprising amount of daily tasks recruit the same muscles used in a squat. So, if you’re regularly training these muscles and making them stronger, those everyday tasks and movements will become easier.
- Increased Mobility. When you’re working muscles and joints daily, they become more supple and lubricated, which can actually help with injury prevention and improve your mobility.
Squatting Variations & Alternatives
This is the traditional squat with a loaded barbell held across your shoulders and traps, behind your head.
Here, you’re holding the bar across the fronts of your shoulders instead, with your elbows pointed forward. This puts more emphasis on your quads.
Performing the normal squat movement with no added weight, just your body.
Also known as jump squats, you perform a bodyweight squat but at the bottom of the squat, you explode upward into a jump before landing back down, straight into another squat.
Implementing squats into a daily workout routine can certainly have its benefits, but it really depends on your goals. You should probably avoid performing heavy squats every day, and instead, just split up more intense sessions with more maintenance-type workouts, so as to not overload fatigued muscles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to squat 5 days a week?
Yes, provided you’re allowing time for your muscles to recover and that you’re not using excessive weight in every session.
How often should you squat to see results?
As a general rule, you should work a muscle at least 2 times a week in order to make it stronger. So, if you’re looking to build leg strength, then aim to perform squats 1-3 times a week, though you can go for more.
Do 100 squats a day work?
This depends entirely on what you’re trying to achieve. 100 is a high number of reps, so you’ll be squatting with little or no weight. This isn’t likely to build big muscles, but it will improve your muscular endurance and overall fitness. If you perform 100 of the same squats every day for an extended period of time, your body will eventually adapt and you will plateau; it’s important to change things up.