Boyd Eppley, founder of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), stated at the 2009 Nebraska NSCA State Conference, “The squat is still king.” This is why that is an accurate statement:
When you are able to perform the free weight back squat correctly and with full depth and good posture, it will be the foundation for your health, fitness, or sports performance. The entire point of weight training is to apply stress to the body, and nothing will apply stress to the entire body at once like the free weight back squat; with perfect technique. This movement will also be the strongest movement where an individual will perform the most weight, so it will also burn the most calories, build the most bone density, and develop the most overall strength in the body. For the appropriate squat progression and perfect technique visit the website www.powerelevation.com.
If you can perform a free weight back squat, even if it has to be with a stick, then take it from that point in the progression or get to that point in the progression at your own pace and add weight from there while keeping perfect technique. This is the number one exercise anyone can perform for their body’s health and performance, but it is also a “high risk” movement, so keeping technique is critical and making sure you are also getting stronger while maintaining perfect technique is the goal. Another critical point to make is that this movement will greatly increase the body’s performance for cardiovascular routines and/or daily tasks, the stronger the hips are then naturally the harder you can push off of the ground.