Love them? Or hate them?

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 others can only wish for tree trunks instead of the feeble little twigs we call thighs.

But whether you're naturally thin or you're built like Atlas, if you put a barbell on your back (or front rack, or overhead, etc), you will benefit. Period. In fact, we were all born to squat. But most people aren't really born "squat kings/queens." For us mortals, if we put some work in, get good cues from a coach or through a little research, our body adapts. The compound movement of the squat is responsible for so much muscle growth and athleticism, it is a staple in every strength and conditioning program.

Heels down, knees out, chest up.

Here are a few of the many great sources of info out there in the internets 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 parts are 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.

-Scott, 7.2.2012