When it comes to weight training, squats are one of the best, if not the best, exercises you can do. By doing 100 squats per day, many people have noticed remarkable results.
Squatting is a fundamental movement that activates nearly every muscle in the body. Squats are a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups at once. When you do a squat, you’re firing all the major muscle groups of the legs at the same time as well as engaging the muscles of your core which includes your abs, obliques, diaphragm, your hip flexors and your pelvic floor.
Doing 100 squats per day will help keep your body strong and healthy, as well as potentially providing you with the vanity results you’re after.
When we train our legs, we build upon a naturally large muscle group. As those muscles get bigger by doing squats regularly, for example, your metabolism increases. When your metabolism increases, you will burn extra calories at rest, and you’ll also burn calories by doing squats every day. Doing squats regularly is therefore an excellent way to create a caloric deficit without depriving yourself.
By now, you may have heard of the ‘100 squats per day challenge’, which was a viral fitness challenge that made its debut in 2018. Many people around the world have tried it, and swear by it.
Can doing 100 squats per day help you reach your fitness goals? What happens to your body when you do 100 squats per day?
What is the ‘100 Squats Per Day’ Challenge?
The 100 squats per day challenge first went viral in June of 2018 and was created by Cassey Ho. Thousands of men and women all over the world joined her live on Instagram for 100 squats per day for 30 days. Cassey mixed it up, including a wide range of squat variations other than the basic squat to target specific muscles. As we know, there are many different types of squats. Some variations included:
- A narrow squat to target the quads
- Sumo squats to work the glutes and inner thigh muscles
- Single leg squats to isolate each leg
Since then, the 100 squats per day challenge has taken off. Other influencers have picked up the 100 squats per day challenge and advocate for it strongly, sharing their journey with their followers and posting their results.
One of the reasons why the 100 squats per day challenge is so successful might have to do with the group mentality of participating in a viral challenge. You can find the same accountability by finding a friend or sibling to do the 100 squats per day challenges with you.
Researchers studying the effects of social media fitness challenges found that they were a good source of information regarding health and fitness and increased individuals’ motivation to get out and exercise. This makes sense since humans are social creatures.
It’s also comforting to see people at all fitness levels participating in these types of fitness challenges. Going to the gym or working out in public can be intimidating if you’re new to the world of fitness, but participating in a challenge at home, by yourself yet not alone, is much less daunting.
Squats are calisthenics exercises that can easily be done at home, with no equipment.
Will Doing 100 Squats Per Day Burn Lots of Calories?
You’ll definitely burn more calories per day if you start doing 100 squats per day. However, it’s almost impossible to determine what can cause an individual to burn more calories. Our metabolism is complex and unique to each and every person. Not to mention that your diet plays a pretty active role here as well. If you’re limiting your caloric intake too much, your body is going to start hanging on to the calories it does have and your metabolism will slow down, meaning you will burn fewer calories.
That being said, exercise in general, especially resistance training or weight lifting, does burn calories, so if you’re increasing the number of squats you do from 0 to 100 (or even 50 to 100), you are, naturally, going to burn more calories per day.
Additionally, many who have participated in this squats challenge reported noticeably larger muscles in their legs, especially the glutes and quadriceps. As we’ve seen before, greater muscle mass means increased metabolic speed, meaning more calories burned at rest.
How Will Your Body Change by Doing 100 Squats Per Day?
There are many ways in which your body can change by doing 100 squats per day.
The first and most obvious is a potentially bigger and rounder buttocks, as well as increased strength in your legs, glutes and core, and more toned definition.
Weight loss, fat loss, and a smaller belly could also occur because of daily squats.
There are some people who have done the challenge and noticed a change in the shape of their legs, but the visibility of your muscles depends on the percentage of body fat you have, and there are many factors that can contribute to a higher body fat percentage, including your genes. A DNA test from CircleDNA can tell you about your body composition and more, like what kind of exercise is best suited to you, based on your genetic body type.
Exercises like squats also help strengthen the connective tissues between your joints.
Finally, if you try the 100 squats per day challenge, you will likely find that your posture has improved. Squatting regularly can also stimulate your digestive system and make bowel movements easier and more regular.
Changes to Your Body after 30 and 60 Days
A consistent squatting routine combined with a healthy diet rich in protein, healthy fats and fibre could help you pack on between 0.5 and 2 pounds of muscle per month. Again, this will vary from person to person, and your genetic makeup will definitely be a factor when it comes to your results.
As you continue on with the challenge, you will find that your squats become easier as you get stronger.
In order to build muscle, you need to keep challenging yourself. Try adding some weight to your squat after a week or so by holding dumbbells as you squat, and continue to increase as your squats become less challenging. You could also mix in some squat variations like jump squats or split squats. There are so many variations of squats to choose from, and you don’t need to do 100 of the same squat. You could choose 4 different types of squats and do 25 of each, daily.
Tips for Safely and Effectively Doing the Squats Challenge
It’s important to properly warm up before performing squats, in order to decrease risk of injury and improve mobility in your hips, knees and ankles as well as your range of motion. Warming up will help you to squat deeper and work your muscles harder. You should also stretch the appropriate muscles before and after doing squats.
If you’re going to try the 100 squats per day challenge, it’s imperative to make sure that you’re doing your squat correctly.
TJ Mentus of Garage Gym Reviews says, “A proper squat will go through a full range of motion with the hips going below parallel with the knees and the hips also bearing most of the load. The glutes should be engaged as you stand up. This will take pressure off of the low back and knees. You also want to avoid the rounding of the low back as you get to the bottom of a squat as this will put the spine in a compromised position.”
You may wish to squeeze your glutes as you come to a standing position with each squat, and you may want to use a low chair as a guide to ensure you’re squatting low enough.
Mentus explains, “The risk of doing high reps of squats with bad form is that it will improperly load the joints like the knees and low back potentially causing irritation, pain, or injury in the long term. Every bad rep puts more pressure on these joints in a way that they were not designed to handle. Performing bad reps also trains the body to continue to move in poor patterns and not utilize the muscles efficiently.”
Mentus advises, “If you feel your squat form start to deteriorate over the course of 100 reps, then it would be best to start with a smaller amount of reps and build up the endurance to eventually complete 100 good squats.”
Try dividing your squat reps into increments of 10, 25, or 50, and squat a few times throughout the day instead of trying to do all 100 squats in one go. You can do squats while you’re watching TV, waiting for the elevator, or during a work break.
Squats are a great way to gain strength all over your body, so if you’re wondering what 100 squats per day can do for you, join the challenge and try it out for yourself.