Exercise is still one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy no matter what your age. But to make the most of your exercise routine, you need to understand which types of exercise would help you achieve your specific goals for your body.

For instance, if you want to improve your running speed, it’s important to focus on building up the strength and agility of your legs.

But what exactly is the best leg exercise? The answer is simple: squats.

What is the squat?

The squat is a classic lower body exercise that’s been used by many fitness enthusiasts for many years. Focusing mainly on the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the gluteal muscles, the squat is considered the most effective strength training exercise because it covers every part of your lower extremities in what is call a complex movement that runs from your hips to your feet.

best leg exercise
For leg strength, the squat is still king.

Although it is designed primarily for improving the strength of your legs for running and other physical activities, squats also help with overall fitness and protects you against different injuries.

What are the benefits of the squat?

The squat is considered the best leg exercise because it works different muscles groups across different joints. Squats even allow you to work on those hard-to-reach muscles that don’t usually get a workout with regular exercise.

Here are some of the benefits that you get to enjoy with squats:

  • You get to improve your balance.

Strong muscles form the foundation of almost every type of workout and movement because it allows you to maintain balance and assist in weight-bearing activities.

According to a 2018 study, back squats activated the muscles that support your back better than planking.

  • You get to reduce lower back pain.

Even if you’re not running regularly, doing your squats regularly can help you lift things easily without worrying about lower back pain.

Think about carrying those groceries or lifting your child and not having to suffer from the aches after. Doing squats also help you reduce the risk for injuries because you get to maintain good posture, balance, and form.

  • You get to boost your strength.

If you’re an athlete, adding squats to your workout will help you improve athletic performance by increasing your speed and building your strength, especially in the lower extremities.

A lot of athletes do squat training three times a week to make sure that build a strong core that allows them to perform better in their sport.

Finally, the squat is one of the most flexible exercises to do because you don’t need any equipment and you can do it anywhere. You don’t even need to go to the gym to be able to do squats.

But if you have specific fitness goals, it’s best to work with a fitness trainer in incorporating squats into your exercise routine so you can really maximize its benefits. So, if you’re looking for the best leg exercise to help increase your speed and strength, the squat is definitely the best option for you.