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How Many Squats Should You Do a Day to Burn Calories?

  • March 20, 2020

Squats are an excellent resistance exercise for burning calories and building body mass. It is an all-body exercise targeting all the muscles in your lower body. At the same time, it helps you lose weight by burning calories. But how many squats would you need to do?

How many squats should I do a day, you ask? It depends. Numerous factors affect how many squats you need to do a day to burn enough calories that matter to your goal of losing weight. Three of the most crucial factors are your body weight, the number of minutes spent exercising, and the intensity of your session.

Given the benefits that squat offers, it is no wonder you want to add it to your weight loss routine. But before you do that, this article provides you some valuable information on how to make the most of burning calories with squats.

How Many Calories Burned Doing Squats?

As said before, several factors affect how many squats you should do a day to burn your intended number of calories to lose. You can determine the number of squats you should ideally do every day by first finding out how many calories a squat burn. The calories you burn will be determined by your weight, the intensity, the type of activity, and the minutes you spent exercising.

Your level of effort especially matters in determining how many calories you can burn. The activity’s level of intensity is also known as metabolic equivalent or MET. Knowing this value helps you better understand how many calories you can burn by performing squat. When at rest, the MET value is 1.

If you are doing light to moderate activity, the MET value is 3.5. For intense or vigorous activities, the MET value can be as much as 8. You will need to find out whether the squat you are doing is light/moderate or vigorous to calculate the calories burned. Moderate squats are still light enough if you can continue talking.

On the other hand, it is highly intense if you are breathing heavily and talking takes effort. Knowing the MET value, you can substitute it with the formula 0.175 x MET x WEIGHT in kilograms. If you weigh 65 kg. and does intense squats, then the calories you burn per minute is 9.1. If you perform the activity for 10 minutes, simply multiply it with the calories burned.

How to Do Squats – Proper Form for Proper Burn

Squats is among the most effective exercises you can do, but also tricky. To make the most of it and ensure you don’t sustain injury while doing it, it is critical that you do them right. Start with taking the proper form as explained below:

  1. Stand facing forward while holding your chest up and out.
  2. Steady on the floor with your feet kept apart at shoulder-width. Keep your balance by extending your arms out with bent elbows or clasped fingers.
  3. Do the squats by sitting back and down. The action looks like you are sitting on an imaginary chair. While doing this, make sure your head faces forward with your body also bending forward a little bit. Allow your back to arch a little bit when you descend.
  4. Keep your thighs parallel to the floor as much as possible. Your knees must be over your ankles with your weight pressing back into the heels.
  5. While holding your body tight, push through your weight to go back to the starting position.

Doing squats looks easy, but it isn’t. Whether you try doing bodyweight or weighted squats, pushing through your weight up is hard. That being the case, it is best to start at two or three sets of 10 reps, at least at the beginning. As you get used to the movement, you can add more repetitions. Make sure to concentrate on your form first, as it is the key to the exercise’s efficacy.

Experiment with Different Squat Variations to Burn the Most Calories

Besides the basic squat, you can try other variations of the exercise to help get the most out of the activity. The use of added weight especially helps in increasing the intensity of the training, allowing you to burn more calories. On that, below are other types of squats you can do once you mastered the basics.

Dumbbell Squat

Using dumbbells with your squat can help you to increase muscle strength. Start with light weights if you are new to this. This way, you can hold the proper form easily, even with the added loads. When it becomes more comfortable for you, you can add more weights later. You can perform the dumbbell squat following the steps below:

  • Hold the primary squat position with your feet at hip or shoulder-width apart. Extend your bent arms while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep the weights below chin level.
  • Lower into the squat as much as your elbows touch your knees if you can then inhale.
  • Return to the starting position then exhale.
  • Repeat until you complete the set.

Split Squat

If you want, you can do squats with a focus on one leg at a time. This variation is called split squat. It is a little different than the basic squat since you get into lunge position instead of the sitting form. You can perform this squat either with dumbbells or not. Follow the steps below in performing the variation:

  • Get into position by putting one foot in front of the other. Keep your hands to your sides.
  • Lower your back knee to the ground then inhale while moving your arms towards your chest.
  • Return to your original position while squeezing your butt then exhale.
  • Repeat on the other leg then switch it over again until you complete the set.

Jump Squat

Another way to make your lower body movement explosive is by performing jump squat. While you start at the primary squat position, you add a force at the end by jumping as you get back up. It is an excellent exercise that involves both your lower body and entire core. You can perform the jump squat properly with the simple steps below:

  • Stand tall while keeping your feet at shoulder or hip-width apart.
  • Keep your center at your hips when you push your buttock back and then lower down with your thighs parallel to the floor.
  • When you lower down, let your knees bend at 45 degrees before dropping back into squat immediately then jumping again.
  • Repeat until you complete the set.

Some Tips to Maximize Your Effort

  • Make sure your back is aligned and neutral by keeping your chest up and your hips back.
  • Stay in proper position by looking down on your knees without letting your head drop when you do a full squat. This way, you can correct your toes to be in line over your ankles.
  • When raising, put your weight on your heels instead of the toes so you can train the correct muscle groups.
  • Squat in a range of 90 degrees to parallel the ground. Make sure not to collapse.
  • Be the one to push you into the bottom position and not the gravity.
  • Do the squat in a perfectly vertical manner without moving horizontally.


Squats is an excellent calisthenics exercise that is easy enough to perform, although a little awkward at the beginning. But when you get used to the motion, they are guaranteed to help you burn more calories. How many calories burned when doing 100 squats? More than the number of squats, it matters more than you perform with increased intensity.

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