I love them. But I hate them. I’m absolutely horrible at them. Seriously. Weak.Sauce.
It seems like some people are naturally strong-legged… they can squat the world and have glorious quad definition and a posterior chain to boot, while here I am crying myself to sleep at night wishing for tree trunks instead of these feeble little twigs I call thighs.
But whether you’re built like me or you’re built like frickin’ Atlas, you put a barbell on your back (or front rack, or overhead, etc), and you’ll benefit. Period. In fact, we were all born to squat. But most people aren’t really born “squat kings/queens.” Well, maybe those dudes in the above pic. For the rest of us mortals, you put some work in, get good cues from a coach or through a little research, and your body adapts. Big time. The compound movement of the squat is responsible for so much muscle growth and athleticism, you already know.
Heels down, knees out, chest up.
Here are a few of the many great sources of info out there in the intrrnets regarding squats (of all kinds).
Starting Strength (with Mark Rippetoe):
Recommended Reading… http://startingstrength.com/articles/squat_rippetoe.pdf
Elite FTS (with Dave Tate, et al):
Recommended Reading… http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/powerlifting-articles/so-you-think-you-can-squat-part-1-and-2/
California Strength (with Glenn Pendlay):
Recommended Reading… http://www.californiastrength.com/search?searchword=Squats&ordering=&searchphrase=all
Catalyst Athletics (with Greg Everett):
Recommended Reading… http://www.catalystathletics.com/articles/article.php?articleID=109
The tough part is, how to squat (type), how often to squat (timing), and how/when to go heavy (progression). Low Bar or High Bar? Box Squats? Tempo Squats? Do Oly Lifts count? And should we even bother with Air Squats?
If your answer is simply “YES” to all of the above, you’re right.
I’ll leave you with this simple go-to: if you’re into being strong and are not squatting, in some form or fashion, at least 3 times a week, you’re missing out on your full athletic potential. Yes, all types of squats, including Oly Lifting, do count.
Now go. Decide on a program (or *ahem* let someone else do that for you), and get your booty on.