Squats are king.
That’s an abbreviation of the widely held opinion that the squat is the king of exercises for strength and mass development. Of course, those not into the whole monarchy thing might also refer to squats as weight training’s Great Uniter, as their unmatched awesomeness is one of the rare things that bridges the at-times troubled divide between powerlifters, bodybuilders, athletes, and other weightlifters.
Consider the following.
- Weightlifters use squats to help improve their clean and jerk and snatch.
- Athletes use squats to help them sprint faster, jump higher, and throw further.
- Bodybuilders use squats to build the musculature in their hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
- Powerlifters practice the squat because it’s one of the three official powerlifts.
So if you’re serious about building muscle, some version of the squat should appear in your program. However, many squat with form that’s basically an injury waiting to occur.
I’ve spent over 20 years practicing and teaching the squat, and what I’m about to share are the very same things that have helped me squat 1214 pounds. (And make no mistake; the squat helps the deadlift in a big way.)