They're often called the king of lifts because the benefits of weightlifting squats are royally epic.
- Weightlifting squats promote whole-body strength and muscle building. It's obvious that weightlifting squats strengthen your legs. But they also help strengthen and build muscle throughout your body. By really challenging and engaging the largest muscles in your body, your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps and release of hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone that help with the development of all your muscle tissues. So, a heavier squat can help you get to a heavier bench press, more pull-ups, and a better physique.
- Weightlifting squats improve athletic performance. Most sports and other athletic activities rely in part on your legs. And nothing says powerful legs quite like squats. Leg extensions? Leg press? Hamstring curls? Sure, they're ok. But none of them will give you the functional strength and compound workout as weightlifting squats. There's no dumbbells, a barbell, or kettle bells) can't be beat.
- Weightlifting squats help prevent injuries. The reputation squats have for causing knee injuries just isn't deserved. Of course if you already have a knee injury, squatting down to parallel or beyond probably won't work for you (always consult your doctor or physical therapist). But for the rest of us, squats will do more to prevent injuries then to cause them when done correctly, because the strengthen the weak muscles often responsible for leaving the knee open to injury in the first place. In fact, squats are often part of rehabilitation programs for recovering from knee and other leg injuries. The keys are proper warm up, not overloading your weights, and proper squatting technique. Because of how hard it is to actually see your own weightlifting squat form, it's best to work with a trainer to establish good habits.
- Weightlifting squats build killer legs. It may be obvious, but it still bears saying. Are you looking a little top-heavy? Does your rear view giggle too much for comfort? Get thee to the squat rack. Nothing buffs up your upper legs and butt quite like weightlifting squats. By working several muscles at once rather than isolating a single muscle, weightlifting squats give you the most bang for your buck as you build your legs.
- Weightlifting squats are for everyone. Whether you've been lifting all your life, or weightlifting is new to you. Whether you've always been muscular or always been super skinny. Whether you play football or play on a curling team. Squats are for you, for your girlfriend, for everyone. Everyone needs strong, sculpted legs. If you don't want them to get bigger, fine, don't eat and lift like a bodybuilder. But for your health, fitness, and physique, weightlifting squats are essential for every body. No other lift can equal the strengthening power of the squat. Anyone who's skipping them in the gym is seriously missing out.