We’ve all heard it at some point throughout our fitness journeys: Squatting is bad for you… it ruins your knees… it wears out your back… it’s an unnecessary part of most workout regimens. All of that certainly can be true if the only squat education you’ve ever believed was gathered from your out-of-shape high school football coach or the “wise old man” at the local YMCA. Those guys have been squatting wrong for years.
Of course their knees are shot and they have constant lower back pain. And the guy who wrote the article about how bad squats are for you? He’s been burned… Burned bad by years of improper squat technique that has lead him to an uneducated conclusion that it must be a harmful exercise for everyone.
This damaging squat form can be seen at almost any fitness facility you walk into. Too much weight on the bar, improper posture, and awkward body position can all lead to the negative effects expressed by fear-mongering squat haters. The good news is, this can all be fixed, and be turned into the most productive part of your workout.
When executed correctly, squats are absolutely the most imperative exercise to include in your weekly workout plan. In fact, when it comes to building lean muscle and getting lean, no other exercise can compare. Not only do squats build strength in the thighs, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, but they produce a natural anabolic state in your body that allows you to build lean muscle more efficiently when working other muscle groups.
Think about it. Have you been skipping the most important part of your workout based on fear or poor education? I think you’ll find that the hard-bodied person whose body you’re checking out at the gym sure as heck never misses out on doing their squats. So whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned weightlifter, make sure you’re maximizing the efficiency of your leg day by doing squats.