Most everyone associated with weight training knows the value of the squat, regardless of the equipment you have available.
Some say the squat is the single best exercise for building strength and muscle mass gains in the legs, hips, and back. The squat also produces a metabolic effect that can stimulate growth in the upper body. There is nothing revolutionary or new when it comes to the squat. The Greeks utilized the squat in their physical training protocols thousands of years ago. Japanese Sumo Wrestlers use the squat as their primary strength training exercise to gain muscle mass faster.
Today the squat is used in a competitive sport called power-lifting but for our purpose we are advocating the use of the squat for several reasons:
#1-Increased over all strength and power
#2-Increased lung capacity
#3-Elevated pulse rate
#4-Increased bone density
#5-Reduction in lower body injuries
#6-Increased in overall gains in muscle mass
#8-Increases or decreases in body weight
#9-Improved functional ability
So why do most people avoid the squat? They avoid the squat because it is the hardest strength training exercise to perform and that is why it is so productive – because it is hard to perform!
You can produce great results and muscle mass gains when the squat is performed hard in high intensity strength training. Try increasing the intensity of the exercise with a weight that will allow you to work to momentary muscular failure in which the last rep is the hardest rep to complete. When you can complete twenty reps try to increase the weight by 5%. One 20 rep set per week will be all you need to build muscle fast and probably all you can withstand.