Pictured is Evelyn Stevenson who won a silver medal in the world powerlifting championships last year in the 70kg (154lb) category. Her squat was 117.5kg (258.5lb). Squatting works.
Squatting and all its variants are still fundamentally the most important exercise anyone can do to improve their performance. One athlete recently asked me why I emphasize squatting so much both in my rehabilitation practice and in my performance training. I have more often than not pointed out that every time we sit in a chair, in a car or on the toilet- we are either squatting correctly or hurting ourselves. Proper squatting trains so many body parts in an integrated whole and with proper variable manipulation can be used to train numerous athletic qualities. It should be emphasized whenever possible.
Briefly, without focusing on the basic need to squat when going to the bathroom or how moving well over two and half time your bodyweight is simply fun, here is a list of why squatting rocks:
Sleivert and Taingahue 2004 had college level male athletes’ squat to a 5rm, jump squat with 30-60% of that load and complete 6 10m sprints. They found that the power production from the jump squat and sprint were strongly correlated (r = .64 P<.001) with the strength relationship between the heavy squat and the jump squat being similarly correlated at (r =0.68 P<.001). Squats predict power.
Mitchell and Sale 2011 demonstrated that doing a counter-movement jump for height would be 10.7% higher if it is preceded by a 5rm squat and a 4 min rest between the two. This likely maximizes motor unit recruitment but permits enough time for recovery between activities. Squats improve motor recruitment.
The endless benefits of squats can continue. They have been mentioned in our previous articles on squats (which is already quite high).
Squatting will make you a better athlete. Do it.