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The squat is an exercise, either done gymnastically (air squat) or with weight. It is poorly understood because it involves the use of many muscles.

Full Squats

The full squat, when performed correctly, is the safest leg exercise for the knees and produces a more stable knee than any other leg exercise. [1] Correct technique is deep, with the hips dropping below level with the top of the patella, in other words full range of motion.[2][1]

Any squat that does not go below parallel is a partial squat, which stresses the knee and the quadriceps without stressing the glutes, adductors, and hamstrings.  Partial squats fail to provide a full stretch of the hamstrings, which produces anterior shear on the knee.[1]


<videogallery> image:Proper form on air squats|This video demonstrates proper technique on the "air" squat, a version that does not require external load.

image:Mark Rippetoe: Intro to the Squat|Mark Rippetoe intro to the Back Squat. </videogallery>

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rippetoe/Kilgore (2007). Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 2 ed., USA: The Aagaard Company. 
  2. McNeely/Sandler (2007). Power Plyometrics: The Complete Program, 1 ed., UK: Meyer and Meyer Sports.