Squats have been called the “king of exercises.” The squat rack is usually the one piece of equipment that’s never being used because it’s also one of the toughest exercises you can perform. One study looked at the metabolic demand of the bench press, squat, lat pulldown, and triceps extension performed at 80% of their one-rep max (1RM). Afterward, the scientists measured the metabolic responses of the individuals after performing the four exercises. Squatting was found to be 3.3 times more energetically demanding than either bench pressing, triceps extensions, or lat pulldowns. Squatting at 80% of a 1RM was found to expend ~9% more energy than a workout consisting of the other three exercises.

Squatting is one of the best ways to put muscle mass on the legs, as just about virtually every bodybuilder with incredible legs is a proponent of squatting. A new study published in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome reported that increased muscle mass in subjects’ legs was associated with lower body fat in the test subjects. Researchers evaluated visceral fat area, skeletal muscle mass, caloric intake, and energy expenditure in 67 healthy male participants. Skeletal muscle mass, especially lower-limb muscle mass, negatively contributes to visceral fat mass in healthy men. This means the more muscle mass the subjects had on their legs, the lower overall body fat. If you’re looking to burn body fat, skip the cardio and get under the squat bar. – FLEX