The squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the thighs, hips and buttocks.
It also strengthening the hamstrings (back of thighs) the core (abdominal and back muscles). In addition to strengthening all of these muscles you are building some of the largest muscles in the body which will help you burn calories in the long run.
How to Start?
Beginners should start with body weight squats and over time add weight and depth the exercise. Body weight squats can also be great way for trainers to evaluate flexibility and strength when starting a strength program. Click here to see a Basic Squat Video.
Watching the video will help, but I'd recommend having an trainer help to ensure proper form before adding weight or increase the amount of repetitions you're asking your body to preform.
The Nitty Gritty:
Squats work your quads, hamstrings, as well as help to strengthen bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the legs and buttocks, as well as developing core strength. Isometrically, the lower back, the upper back, the abdominals, the trunk muscles, the costal muscles, the shoulders and arms are all essential to the exercise and thus are trained when squatting properly.
In addition to making you super strong a barbell squats require a huge amount of energy output. For this compound movement you need tightness throughout the entire body as well coordinating multiple muscle groups to complete the movement. Mobility is also key to get the hips parallel or below the knee at the bottom of the squat. Click here for more good stuff!
Ready to change up your current squatting routine?
There are so many ways to squat! If you're squatting on a regular basis now and you'd like to add some variety to your routine try changing some of these variables; foot stance (narrow, just wide of hips or Sumo) your Rep scheme, your sets, your tempo (how fast you move through the squat), adding extra resistance (bands or chains etc). When it gets heavy don't be ashamed to use a belt.
Be safe and lift with people you trust!
All in all, squat often and well; it's good for your health!