The squat is the ultimate leg exercise. Easy to learn and eminently accessible, it requires no equipment to perform and can be done pretty much anywhere. Sure, you can make them more difficult by throwing the best kettlebells, dumbbells or barbells into the mix, but all you actually need is your bodyweight.
Trying to complete 100 squats each day for a month has become a popular challenge among avid gym-goers and fledgling exercisers alike, with many reporting impressive results off the back of their 30-day squat-athon.
And while hitting triple figures each day might seem like a daunting task, there are benefits to this challenge-style approach to exercising.
Firstly, it can help you build muscle and strength while improving your sporting performance. A small study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine reported that adolescent boys who hit 100 bodyweight squats for 45 consecutive days saw a decrease in their body fat, rise in their muscle mass, increased muscle thickness and improved vertical jump height.
The benefits of these month-long workout plans aren't exclusively physical either. Alongside the usual benefits of regular exercise for our mental health, they also add structure to your workout plan, providing a tangible goal that incentivizes you to lace up your sneakers and get moving.
Recent research published in Sciendo found that following a 30-day social media push-up challenge could lead to raised levels of motivation in young adults, increasing the amount of physical activity they were doing in a day as a result.
Although the study also notes that there are some risks to doing a new sudden dose of exercise without professional supervision, so do make sure you're not pushing too hard when you tackle a new challenge.
Among those to have tried the 100 squats-a-day challenge are three members of the Buzzfeed Multiplayer team, with the trio all vouching for the benefits of regular squats by the end of the month. Each one documented their journey and reported any changes in how they looked, felt and performed, with one woman adding almost an inch to her glutes over the course of the 30 days. They also enjoyed improved strength, with a male participant saying he was able to perform heavier weighted squats after the challenge.
You can find out how they got on in the video below, and decide for yourself whether you want to give this workout-style a try. Or, if this volume of squats isn’t for you, why not try one of these short term fitness goals you can achieve in 30 days?
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Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.
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