HealthCan Squats Increase Testosterone - Science Based Facts 2024

Can Squats Increase Testosterone – Science Based Facts 2024

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Squats are perhaps the most effective compound exercise for increasing both strength and muscle mass. In addition to targeting the entire lower body, squats engage the back, core, and stabilizing muscles that are critical for posture and basic life movements. Thus, we recognize the effectiveness of the squat in building muscle and improving overall function. But do these benefits extend beyond muscle gain?

In this article, we will examine whether performing squats increases testosterone levels, the male sex hormone (which also affects women) that has a significant impact on mood, energy, and the ability to maintain or gain muscle, among other functions. Does squatting increase testosterone? We are close to finding the answer!

Do Squats Increase Testosterone? What The Science Says

Squats, a basic strength training exercise, have been linked to a potential testosterone boost. Studies suggest that heavy, compound movements like squats can temporarily increase testosterone levels after exercise. However, the increase is often short-lived and not substantial enough to drive significant muscle growth.

For sustained testosterone gains, comprehensive lifestyle changes, including diet, sleep, and exercise variety, are critical. While squats offer many benefits, relying on them alone for testosterone enhancement may not be the most effective strategy. Consult a fitness professional to tailor your workout routine for optimal results.

Who Is Particularly Affected By Low Testosterone Levels?

Low testosterone levels can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in middle-aged and older men. As men age, their natural testosterone production tends to decrease, leading to various symptoms such as fatigue, decreased libido, and muscle loss. But low testosterone isn’t limited to one gender or age group.

Women can also experience hormonal imbalances such as low testosterone, which can lead to decreased energy and mood swings. In addition, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors, such as obesity or chronic stress, can contribute to low testosterone levels in both men and women. It’s important to be aware of these potential effects and to seek medical advice for a balanced and healthy hormonal profile.

What Types Of Exercise Generally Help Increase Testosterone Levels?

Engaging in regular exercise can be a natural way to boost testosterone levels. Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting and resistance workouts, are particularly effective in increasing testosterone production. These activities challenge your muscles, prompting your body to release more testosterone to aid in muscle repair and growth. Compound movements like deadlifts and bench presses are excellent choices besides squats.

Additionally, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also help elevate testosterone levels temporarily. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance, as excessive exercise without adequate rest can lead to cortisol spikes, which can counteract the testosterone-boosting benefits. So, incorporating a well-rounded fitness routine while prioritizing recovery is key to maintaining hormonal harmony.

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Can Squats Boost Testosterone?

They absolutely can! Squats stand out as one of the most effective exercises, if not the absolute best, for promoting increased testosterone production. Numerous studies have confirmed that resistance training can indeed increase testosterone levels, but several factors come into play to determine the extent of this increase. Heavy resistance training has been shown to cause an almost immediate increase in serum testosterone levels, although they typically return to baseline within thirty minutes of exercise.

However, further research has shown that resistance exercises that focus on smaller muscle groups do not have the same impact on testosterone levels as exercises that target larger muscle groups, such as squats. In one particular study, scientists observed that performing single-arm dumbbell biceps curls had no discernible effect on plasma testosterone levels, while the group that performed leg and arm exercises experienced a significantly greater increase in plasma testosterone and growth hormone levels.

The choice between free weights and machine weight training also plays a key role in determining the magnitude of the testosterone response to squats. One study examined the hormonal responses to barbell squats versus machine leg presses. Ten active weightlifters, averaging about 25 years of age, performed six sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise, one week apart.

It was found that the barbell squat produced greater increases in testosterone and human growth hormone levels compared to the leg press. In addition, research has demonstrated that compound movements such as the squat should be prioritized over other resistance exercises to optimize testosterone elevation.

One study examined the hormonal response to starting a workout with a large muscle group exercise followed by small muscle group exercises versus the reverse sequence. The results showed that starting with a large muscle group exercise, such as squats, resulted in greater increases in serum testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). This result was attributed to the fact that squats engage larger muscle groups, including the abdominal and stabilizer muscles.

Another critical determinant of how much squats can boost testosterone is the repetition range, volume of training, and rest period between sets. One study compared hormonal responses across a range of repetitions and rest periods and found that the most significant testosterone increases were achieved with ten repetitions and one minute rest between sets.

In addition, there was a post-exercise increase in testosterone levels that persisted for up to 30 minutes after exercise. To maximize your testosterone levels, consider incorporating free weight squats as your first exercise, ideally aiming for the ten repetition range with one minute rest between sets. It’s important not to be too light on the weights; your ten reps should be challenging.

What Is Testosterone Actually?

Testosterone is one of the androgenic hormones, classified as anabolic, responsible for the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics. While it primarily supports the growth of male characteristics, it’s worth noting that women also have lower levels of testosterone. The primary sources of testosterone production are the gonads, the testes in males and the ovaries in females, with small amounts synthesized by the adrenal glands.

The crucial role of testosterone begins during fetal development and influences the determination of an individual’s sex at birth. During the onset of puberty, males experience a significant increase in testosterone levels, which drives the development of primary and secondary male characteristics. These include growth in height, appearance of body and pubic hair, deepening of the voice, increased libido, and enlargement of the reproductive organs, particularly the prostate gland.

In adult men, testosterone continues to play a key role in maintaining robust sexual function, promoting muscle growth, stimulating the production of new red blood cells, and contributing to overall health. In women, a significant amount of testosterone is naturally converted to the female sex hormone estradiol.

Although present in smaller amounts than in men, testosterone is still important for women. It plays a crucial role in regulating their libido, harmonizing other hormonal processes, maintaining bone density, stimulating the production of new red blood cells, regulating the menstrual cycle, and contributing to overall well-being.

Squat Benefits

Benefits of squats image

While squats are known for their ability to boost testosterone levels, they offer a variety of additional benefits. Aside from their hormonal effects, here are some notable benefits:

  • Promoting muscle growth: Squats are a powerhouse for building muscle mass. They are a compound exercise that works several muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominals, lower back, and stabilizing muscles. Exercises such as squats, which target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, are highly effective for muscle development.
  • Aid in weight loss: Research comparing the energy expenditure of eight popular resistance training exercises, including half-squats, incline leg presses, leg extensions, bench presses, incline bench presses, lat pulldowns, triceps extensions, and biceps curls, showed that half-squats burned significantly more calories than any of the other exercises. This makes squats a valuable addition to weight loss programs.
  • Posture improvement: When performed with proper form, squats are among the best exercises for improving posture. They heavily involve the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, lower back, and erector spinae muscles, which are responsible for maintaining a straight back and good posture. Core stabilizer muscles help maintain balance during squats, further improving posture.
  • Improved flexibility: Squats, when performed with a full range of motion and proper technique, contribute to increased joint strength and flexibility in the knees, hips, and ankles. This improvement in joint health translates into improved mobility for daily activities.
  • Supporting bone health: A study examining the effects of multi-joint exercises such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts on bone mineral density in college-aged individuals found that compound exercises such as squats resulted in significant increases in bone mineral density.
  • Cardiovascular benefits: Squats, a form of high-intensity resistance training, engage multiple muscle groups and increase heart rate. This cardiovascular effect is essential for maintaining a healthy heart, making squats a valuable contributor to overall cardiovascular health.

Signs Of Low Testosterone

As men approach the age of 30, their testosterone levels typically begin to decline at a rate of about 1% per year. Similarly, women experience a significant decline in testosterone levels, with levels dropping to about half of their peak levels by the time they reach menopause around age 50. If you’re experiencing any of the following signs, you may have low testosterone:

Common signs of low testosterone in both men and women include:

  • Low libido or decreased sex drive
  • Fatigue and a constant feeling of being tired
  • Loss of muscle strength and tone
  • Difficulty concentrating or reduced mental clarity
  • Thinning hair
  • Infertility (in men)
  • Erectile dysfunction (in men)
  • Depression or increased anxiety
  • Dry and brittle skin
  • Sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

In addition to these common symptoms, women with low testosterone levels may also experience:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant

If you recognize several of these signs in yourself, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and guidance on potential treatment options for low testosterone levels.

Additional Methods To Boost Testosterone

We understand that not everyone can do squats or intense resistance training. Fortunately, there are alternative approaches to boosting testosterone production naturally. These methods include:

Participating In Regular Running Or Exercise

If resistance training and weightlifting are not your preferred activities, you can still boost testosterone levels through exercise. Research has shown that aerobic exercise, such as running, can increase testosterone levels.

Consistent physical activity has been shown to reduce BMI and increase serum testosterone levels. Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also have a positive effect on testosterone. You can even combine running and high-intensity exercise by exploring HIIT treadmill workouts.

Eat A Healthy Diet

One of the simplest ways to regulate and increase testosterone levels is to eat a balanced diet. Eating a diet rich in protein, green leafy vegetables, and healthy fats helps maintain high testosterone levels.

Testosterone Boosting Foods

Numerous foods have been identified as potential testosterone boosters, including eggs, tuna, beans, pumpkin seeds, garlic, olive oil, beef, green leafy vegetables, pomegranate, fatty fish, cocoa products, shellfish, avocados, cherries, and berries.

Establish A Consistent Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a proper sleep schedule is critical to maintaining elevated testosterone levels. A 2011 study found that individuals who slept five hours or less experienced a 10-15% decrease in testosterone levels. Making sure you get enough sleep is essential for building muscle and optimizing testosterone.

Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals

Scientific research has identified several vitamins, minerals, and herbs that naturally boost testosterone levels. Some of these supplements include vitamin D, vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, ashwagandha, and fenugreek. One effective strategy is to take a testosterone booster that combines a blend of high-quality vitamins, minerals, and herbs to maximize testosterone levels.

What Is The Best Testosterone Booster?

In the realm of testosterone booster supplements, our preference leans toward natural products, considering them the safest and most effective option. Numerous studies have validated the effectiveness of natural herbs, minerals, and vitamins in boosting testosterone levels. Typically, natural testosterone boosters contain a blend of these scientifically-backed ingredients.

We steer clear of products that contain synthetic compounds or hormones, as they may contain illegal or potentially harmful substances. For those seeking an alternative to testosterone boosters, there is also testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), a treatment administered under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

TRT uses prescription hormones to facilitate an increase in testosterone levels. Exploring options among the best online TRT clinics can be a wise choice. One of the most effective and convenient TRT providers is Fountain TRT. To begin the process, you can access their online TRT evaluation through this link. For additional insight into Fountain TRT, you can read our comprehensive Fountain TRT review.

Fountain TRT
Break free from Low Testosterone!
 
Product details:

  • Accurate testosterone measurement
  • Appointment with a doctor
  • Cream and injection options
  • Price: $35 – $199
  • Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fountain TRT helps men restore their testosterone to healthy, normal levels through testosterone therapy. Treatment is a breeze with an online doctor visit. Start your personalised assessment…

What Supplements Increase Testosterone Levels?

Boosting testosterone levels naturally often means incorporating specific supplements into your routine. Among these, ashwagandha, a potent adaptogen, has gained popularity for its ability to support hormonal balance. In addition, fenugreek, a common spice, has been linked to increased testosterone levels and improved overall vitality.

Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” plays a critical role in regulating testosterone production. In addition, zinc, a mineral found in several foods, supports healthy testosterone levels and sperm quality. While these supplements can be beneficial, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right approach for your specific needs and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after squatting does testosterone increase?

Research shows that testosterone levels increase immediately after squatting.

What are the signs of elevated testosterone levels in men?

Elevated testosterone levels are characterized by increased libido, increased muscle mass, increased strength, accelerated hair growth, deepened vocal tone, oily skin, reduced body fat, and possibly mood swings or increased aggression.

Can deadlifting increase testosterone production?

In fact, incorporating deadlifts into your workout routine is one of the most effective ways to stimulate testosterone production because it works different muscle groups throughout the body.

Do push-ups have a testosterone-boosting effect?

Yes, push-ups have the potential to increase testosterone levels because they involve several major muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominals, and stabilizing muscles.

Which exercise provides the greatest testosterone boost?

Scientific studies suggest that squats provide the greatest testosterone boost, especially when performed as the first exercise in your workout routine, with a total training load in the ten repetition range.

Conclusion

In conclusion, research indicates that squats are the most effective exercise for increasing testosterone levels. Testosterone plays a crucial role in various aspects of growth, development, and overall health in both men and women. Since natural testosterone levels tend to decline after the age of 30, it is important to use natural methods such as squats to increase these levels. Squats are a high-intensity exercise that engages large muscle groups and promotes multi-joint movements, facilitating muscle development.

Squats target the lower body, back, core, and stabilizing muscles, helping to improve balance and flexibility. Studies have shown that squats require more energy and result in a greater increase in serum testosterone levels compared to exercises such as leg presses. In addition, squats offer other health benefits, making them a valuable addition to any fitness routine.

Research suggests that to maximize testosterone gains, it’s best to perform squats as the first exercise of your workout, aiming for sets of ten repetitions and allowing one minute of rest between sets. If squats aren’t your preferred choice, or if you have limitations with resistance training, there are alternative natural ways to boost testosterone.

These include engaging in other forms of exercise, maintaining a balanced diet of foods known to boost testosterone, and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. In addition, natural supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, testosterone boosters, or considering testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may also be viable options to explore.

Source

  1. Riachy, Ruba, et al. “Various Factors May Modulate the Effect of Exercise on Testosterone Levels in Men.” Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, vol. 5, no. 4, 7 Nov. 2020, p. 81. Read more
  2. Hansen, S., et al. “The Effect of Short-Term Strength Training on Human Skeletal Muscle: The Importance of Physiologically Elevated Hormone Levels.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, vol. 11, no. 6, 1 Dec. 2001. Read more
  3. Shaner, Aaron A., et al. “The Acute Hormonal Response to Free Weight and Machine Weight Resistance Exercise.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 28, no. 4, Apr. 2014. Read more
  4. Sheikholeslami-Vatani, Dariush, et al. “Comparison of the Effects of Resistance Exercise Orders on Number of Repetitions, Serum IGF-1, Testosterone and Cortisol Levels in Normal-Weight and Obese Men.” Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 7, no. 1, 1 Mar. 2016. Read more
  5. Kraemer, W. J., et al. “Hormonal and Growth Factor Responses to Heavy Resistance Exercise Protocols.” Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 69, no. 4, 1 Oct. 1990. Read more
  6. Reis, Victor Machado, et al. “Energy Cost of Isolated Resistance Exercises across Low- to High-Intensities.” PLOS ONE, vol. 12, no. 7, 24 July 2017, p. e0181311. Read more
  7. Almstedt, Hawley C, et al. “Changes in Bone Mineral Density in Response to 24 Weeks of Resistance Training in College-Age Men and Women.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 25, no. 4, Apr. 2011. Read more
  8. Yeo, Jeong Kyun, et al. “Which Exercise Is Better for Increasing Serum Testosterone Levels in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction?” The World Journal of Men’s Health, vol. 36, no. 2, 2018, p. 147. Read more
  9. Leproult, Rachel. “Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men.” JAMA, vol. 305, no. 21, 1 June 2011, p. 2173. Read more
Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy at University of Columbia

Dr. Michael Bonner, a clinical psychologist in Salisbury, MD, received his MD and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1967. Dr. Bonner obtained his MD and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1967. Since retiring from medicine, he has been writing and editing on topics ranging from healthcare policy to basic science.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Bonner is a sought-after speaker at academic and industry conferences, where he shares insights from his extensive career in psychology and healthcare. His work bridges the gap between clinical practice and academic research, influencing a new generation of professionals and students.

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Brittany Hernandez specializes in assessing supplements, health technologies, and applications. She continually enhances her skills as a health copywriter. With a Bachelor's degree in Translation and Communication and a background in linguistics, Brittany is skilled at converting complex research into accessible, high-quality content. She is highly regarded in the health industry for her keen eye for detail and ability to identify high-quality health and wellness products.

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