If that first picture above didn’t convince you to instantly pickup the nearest heavy object and start squatting then read on…

Squatting is the king of exercises.

It’s that simple.

I can see reasons for other exercises.

  • Olympic lifting is great and is definitely up there with squatting as a contender but it’s technical difficulty lets it down. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to learn to do it safely and effectively. If you haven’t got the technique down then you’re just asking for injury.
  • Deadlifting, now I love deadlifting, it’s my strongest lift, and really any type of pulling exercise. If you aren’t deadlifting (and heavy) then I think there is a massive component missing from you programming.  That being said whilst there is a technical part of heavy pulls any lifter worth his salt should be able to teach it to a safe level real quick.
  • So what’s holding it back from being the king of exercises?
    • It’s hard to recover from deadlifting. It really takes it’s toll on the body. Deadlifting more than once or twice a week is liable to leave you in pieces.
    • For me that’s the only thing keeping it off the top spot! I love deads.
  • Bench Press, Really? It’s a big lift and all. It’s a great strength exercise but as far as a king of lifts Benching is a prince at best. Shorter kinetic chain, not really a total body movement and it creates all sorts of shoulder and postural problems if you’re not doing enough pulling work. If I had to choose just a single pushing movement I’d go for a strict overhead press before I went for a bench press
  • Burpees. I saw this in an email the other day (which I un-subscribed to pretty much as soon as I read that) claiming that it was the king of exercises. If someone ever tells you this you have my permission to punch them straight in their lying mouth and after that tell them to go try something using a barbell.

None of these exercises are as great as the squat though. Check this out:

You've stopped reading haven't you.... yeah I know... this article took me 3 weeks to put together thanks to this picture
You’ve stopped reading haven’t you…. yeah I know… this article took me 3 weeks to put together thanks to this picture
  • To get into a full squat needs great ankle,knee,hip,shoulder and thoracic mobility
  • If you’re squatting properly (heavy and deep enough) you will be working a huge range of muscles and not just the legs and glutes.
  • Doing multiple sets of heavy reps won’t only make you stronger than ever but it’ll kick your ass so hard that you will be calling it “cardio” (on that note remember that anything over 6 reps is cardio).
  • You’ll get a massive hormonal release that’ll boost your testosterone and growth hormones levels through the roof. In other words you’ll put yourself firmly into the muscle building muscle building zone
  • You’ll increase your insulin sensitivity and raise your metabolic rate turning your body into a fat burning machine.

All of this through one exercise.

Basically you need to be doing it.

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 Aaaaaand if you squat you’re instantly a badass.