Performance Notes

The King of All Exercises: A compound movement targeting the legs, but involving most of the entire body. The most important exercise you’ll ever do, and the most misunderstood. Learn to do this one right- it’s worth the time and effort!

Keep your back straight and your weight back on your heels throughout the entire movement… as you come up try to push your heels through the floor. This will keep the effort mainly in your hip (especially gluteal) muscles, which are the most powerful in your entire body. Done correctly, the squat should put less stress on your knees than they get in a hockey game.

Your knees should point the same direction as your toes- don’t let them bow inward (a sign of under-developed hip muscles).

Lower yourself slowly to parallel (the tops of your thighs parallel to the floor) or slightly below. Pause, then thrust yourself up to an erect position, but don’t lock out the knees at the top- keep them slightly flexed.

Variations include the front squat, which puts more emphasis more to the quads than the hips (and is a valuable training step for some Olympic moves like the Clean), and one-leg versions, which are more directly related to functional sports movements. These are very challenging and require no equipment.. check out this clip:
Those who are beginners or have difficulty with regular squats can do the Goblet Squat, using either a dumbbell or a kettlebell: