"Skill Sets, Olympic Lifting, and Raw Strength"(9.30.2010)
The squat is essential to your well-being. The squat can both greatly improve your athleticism and keep your hips, back, and knees sound and functioning in your senior years. Not only is the squat not detrimental to the knees it is remarkably rehabilitative of cranky, damaged, or delicate knees. In fact, if you do not squat, your knees are not healthy regardless of how free of pain or discomfort you are. This is equally true of the hips and back.
Most of the world’s inhabitants sit not on chairs but in a squat. Meals, ceremonies, conversation, gatherings, and defecation are all performed berefit of chairs or seats. Only in the industrialized world do we find the need for chairs, couches, benches, and stools. This comes at a loss of functionality hat contributes immensely to decrepitude.
On the athletic front, the squat is the quintessential hip extension exercise, and hip extension is the foundation of all good human movement. Powerful, controlled hip extension is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athleticism. “Necessary” in that without powerful, controlled hip extension you are not functioning anywhere near your potential. “Sufficient” in the sense that everyone we’ve met with the capacity to explosively open the hip could also run, jump, throw, and punch with impressive force. Secondarily, but no less important, the squat is among those exercises.