Athlepedia, The Athletics Wiki

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.