BlogPhysical ActivityHow Many Squats Should I Do a Day to See Results In a Week?

How Many Squats Should I Do a Day to See Results In a Week?

There are no limits to the perfection of your body.

Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova on October 20, 2021

Table of contents

Humans used to the squats. It's one of the most natural biomechanical actions. Every time we sit down, tie our shoelaces, or retrieve something from the bottom shelf of our wardrobes, we squat without even realizing it. 

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Many tiny and big muscles in the lower body work during the squat, so if you execute the exercise correctly on an everyday basis, you can get rid of hypodynamia and build your body in just a few weeks.

What muscles do squats work?

First, let's try to figure out what a squat is. In more scientific terms, the squat is a dynamic strength exercise that requires multiple muscle groups in the upper and lower body to work simultaneously(1). But why are they eventually so beneficial? And what muscle groups are involved in this process?

The muscles taking part in squatting are primarily:

  • quadriceps (quadriceps muscle of the thigh);
  • gluteus maximus muscles;
  • the adductor muscle of the thigh;
  • soleus muscle (part of the triceps muscle of the lower leg);
  • hamstrings (biceps femoris);
  • calf muscles.

A significant load also falls on the extensors of the back, abdominal muscles, and a number of other small muscles of the body and legs. With the systematic performance of the squat, muscles, joints, and knee tendons become stronger. Posture and coordination of movements are noticeably improving. 

Despite that the classic squat and its varieties belong to strength exercises, the load has a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular system. However, this will only occur if the athlete follows the workout technique.

Who will squats help?

Anyone who wants to improve their body. Anyone who wants a juicy ass and simply beautiful lower body muscles will find the squat a great fit. They are easy to perform and do not require additional equipment, except perhaps extra elements of body protection from sprains or a barbell when adding weight loads. 

By the way, the squats with a barbell are the best option if you want to pump up not only the ass but also other muscles of the body.

Anyone who wants to lose weight. If weight loads aren't required for pumping up the butt's muscles, they will be critical when it comes to burning fat. The additional weight must be approximately 50% of the maximum. You should feel it after the third squat on each set.

Also, try to do a lot of reps. A couple of times a week, do 5-6 sets of 5 or more squats. Find your pace, but do not overdo it. Otherwise, the effect will be quite the opposite.

Anyone who wants to run faster. For this purpose, it is better to choose squats with leg lunges or leaning on a chair. For example, the Bulgarian split squats(2) work well (the back leg is placed on a bench).

Anyone who wants to get rid of back pain. Under the supervision of a doctor or trainer, slowly and consciously do the classic squat or bench squat - 3-5 sets of five reps. Focus on stabilizing your hips and core muscles.

Of course, there is no particular type of squat that will suit anyone. So, choose exercises depending on your goal.

Girl with dumbbells doing squats
Girl with dumbbells doing squats

10-step guide to do squats properly

Mistakes in squatting reduce their beneficial effect and can be traumatic for the athlete. You also need to remember to warm up the main tendons and joints before exercising. Let’s have a look at some important rules for any kind of squatting.

  • The feet should be wider than the shoulders and look slightly to the sides so that the heels can become your support while squatting.
  • The knees and hips should be slightly bent, but the spine should remain straight.
  • Take your shoulders back a little.
  • The abdominal muscles should be as tense as the muscles of the legs.
  • When doing the squat, allow your knees to bend naturally. Shift your body weight onto your heels so that your toes feel almost free.
  • Lower your body as much as possible with your hips parallel to the floor. For an ideal squat, the knees should be locked over the ankles, not over the toes.
  • Keep your neck and head in a neutral position, looking in front of you.
  • Squat low enough to engage your glutes, but don't overdo it so you don't hurt yourself.
  • When returning to a standing position, make sure you lower your heels while being upright and keeping your eyes on the front.
  • Do your first squats slowly to practice the technique. Once you're comfortable, pick up your pace. For additional load, you can jump up a little on the rise.

Types of squats 

Types of squats differ in foot placement, the center of gravity(3), and depth, etc. Here are some types of squats you can try.

Classic Squats

The squatting technique is familiar to many from physical education at school, but for those who have forgotten, let’s recall it:

  • put your feet shoulder-width apart, spread the toes of your feet slightly to the sides;
  • transfer body weight from toes to heels, while squatting, do not take your feet off the floor;
  • keep your hands as convenient for you as possible - stretched out in front of you, tucked behind your head, or crossed over your chest;
  • take a deep breath and squat, trying not to lean forward;
  • direct knees and toes strictly in one direction;
  • exhale and start lifting, but do not straighten your legs all the way to the top point. Inhale and immediately move downward.

You can't just squat until exhaustion. If you do have not much practice, your knee joints and spine may suffer. Correct squatting implies a preliminary warm-up, adherence to technique, and mandatory equipment. Squatting with weights, use elastic bandages on the knee, wrist joints, and belts.

If you have any questions, read the 10-step guide above to get started exercising correctly and with maximum health efficiency.

Disclaimer: we advise beginners to master the classic squat first, and then move on to its more complex variations.

Elastic Band Squats

The squat elastic band can help you build muscle mass in your glutes, burn fat, and improve the shape of your entire lower body. To start performing elastic band squats you should:

  • stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and an elastic band around your calves. 
  • get down to parallel with the floor, pulling your pelvis back and bending your knees. 
  • linger briefly at the bottom point, then return to the starting position.

When doing squats, remember that the body quickly adjusts to the load you give it. To tackle this problem you can increase the resistance of the band, raise the number of sets, multiply the reps, or reduce the amount of rest between sets.

Elastic band squats
Elastic band squats

Sumo Squats

Many people consider the inner surface of the thigh to be their problem area. Flabbiness disappears, and muscle tone is restored with sumo squats. It’s due to the training of the thin, comb, and adductors of the inner thigh.

Unlike the classic squat, do the exercise with your legs wide apart and your knees extended to the sides. Take a small 6-7 lbs (3-4 kg) weight in your hands.

Heel Squats

For this exercise, take the same posture as for the classic squat, but place your heels on the surface just above the floor (use dumbbells or a weighted plate as support).

This type of workout is more convenient and ideal for people with flat feet.

Ball Squats

Ball squats are wall squats with a fitball. This kind of squat will teach how to squat correctly so that your knees do not go beyond your socks.

The squats with a fitball are extremely effective and allow you to hold dumbbells in your hands, which significantly increases the load from them. The steps for doing ball squats are:

  • Take a fitball and place it between your back and the wall so that the ball is clearly at the lumbar level. Put your feet forward at a distance of 1 meter from the wall.
  • Begin to squat, firmly press the fitball against the wall.
  • After reaching parallel with the floor, begin a powerful ascent upward with an exhalation.
Ball squats
Ball squats

Deep Squats

Researches(4) show that the deep squat is one of the tricky variations that puts a powerful load on the lower body. This allows you to pump your legs even better, in particular, to give maximum load to the buttocks.

In principle, the technique is similar to the classic squat. However, there are some tips you need to know. Let's take a closer look at how to do the workout correctly.

  • The back is straight. The toes are turned slightly to the sides for greater stability. Feet are shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping the straight position of the body, we begin to slowly go down by pulling the pelvis back and bending the legs at the knees. The knees do not roll inward, moving exclusively in the plane of the toes.
  • We go down until the biceps of the thigh touch the calves or become as close to them as possible. This is one of the challenges of deep squats.
  • We strain the muscles as much as possible and with a powerful movement return to the starting position, straightening the knees.

Disclaimer: the technique is quite difficult, that’s why it’s not recommended for beginners.

How many squats should you do a week? 

The optimal number of squats per day and week depends on many factors. First, it is the age and weight of the person doing the exercise. Secondly, it is important to consider your state of health and associated physical activity. It is also vital to understand what the purpose of your exercises is and what kind of squat is right for your goal.

The schedule you choose shouldn’t lead to excessive fatigue and soreness(5). The body is a soft mechanism. You need to act carefully, with attention and respect for yourself.

If your sessions are high intensity, then this can be repeated a maximum of once or twice a week. Less intense, lighter workouts can be done more often.

Start with several sets per week. On a day, this will be approximately 2-3 sets of 10-15 squats. This mode is suitable for anyone, especially a beginner who is not used to physical activity. Such a challenge will be enough to notice a small but pleasant effect a week after training. Your butt will become firmer, and your leg muscles will be pumped up. 

For better results, you can raise the reps to 15-20, and increase the number of training to 4-6 times a week. But be careful not to overdo it if you see your body is completely exhausted.

Of course, if you are an experienced athlete, then it won’t be difficult for you to do squats every day, 25 and more reps. In order to reach this level, you need to gradually increase the load and try different types of squats with loads on different types of muscles.

A girl in a half-squat with her hands clasped in front of her
A girl in a half-squat with her hands clasped in front of her

The bottom line 

  • Squats are a very effective method to tighten your butt and make your body healthier.
  • You can be at any age and weight for squatting, of course, if there is a desire, and you have no chronic diseases of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. 
  • Ideally, do squats 3-4 times a week, 3 sets of 10-15 reps a day. 
  • If you want to get a quick effect without damaging your health, one more suitable schedule for you is 4-6 sessions per week, 3 sets a day, 15-20 reps. But in that case, get ready for soreness.
  • Regular squatting will not only tone the muscles but also contribute to the overall strengthening of the body.

Sources:

  • J. A. Korak, M. R. Paquette, D. K. Fuller, et al. (2018, October). Muscle Activation Patterns of Lower-Body Musculature Among Traditional Lower-Body Exercises in Trained Women. Journal of strength and conditioning research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000002513
  • J. Aguilera-Castells, B. Busca, J. Morales, et al. (2019, August). Muscle activity of Bulgarian squat. Effects of additional vibration, suspension and unstable surface. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0221710
  • S. Lorenzetti, M. Ostermann, F. Zeidler, et al. (2018, July). How to squat? Effects of various stance widths, foot placement angles and level of experience on knee, hip and trunk motion and loading. BMC sports science, medicine & rehabilitation. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-018-0103-7
  • K. Kubo, T. Ikebukuro, H. Yata (2019, September). Effects of squat training with different depths on lower limb muscle volumes. European journal of applied physiology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04181-y
  • K. Cheung, P. Hume, L. Maxwell (2003). Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports medicine. DOI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12617692/