The squat is a solid exercise with a well-deserved place in the muscle churches a.k.a. “gyms”. Unfortunately, malicious software spreading misconceptions among the muscle worshipers has infiltrated the lifting doctrine.
On that occasion, I present you an anti-virus – 7 reasons NOT to barbell back squat.
1.The Spine Takes A Lot Of Beating
During back squats, the spine plays the role of a middle man a.k.a. the most vulnerable side in a deal. The legs and hips generate the power moving the weight up, but that force is transmitted to the bar through your spine. The lower body is strong, but the spine is not built to support a mountain and may cry sometimes.
2. Some People Are Not Built To Squat
If you have exceptionally long femurs, your frame is subpar when it comes to squatting. Long femurs result in a forward lean that increases the stress on the spine and hips. For the same reason, many lifters fail to develop huge legs by just squatting – the legs are simply doing less work.
Therefore, even if you put a lot of effort into the exercise, you may still fail to develop aesthetic and muscular legs.
3. The Squat Will Not Make You A Mass Monster
Regardless of what people say on the Internet, the squat will not make you a mass monster unless you count the fat gains from your permabulking adventures as muscle growth. The myths that the squat produces amazing muscle gains are just that – myths.
Natural bodybuilders are not small because they don’t squat. They’re small because the human body does not have the testosterone required to look like the guys from the magazines. You can’t break the natural limits by squatting.
4. The Squat Is Not As Functional As You May Think
When was the last time you put a fridge on your back? Exactly.
The truth is that the squat, just like any other exercise, is simply a simulation in a controlled environment.
Many people think that their squat strength will translate to almost anything, but this is not exactly true. Form always follows function. If you ask the boxer Manny Pacquiao what’s his best squat, he won’t have a satisfying answer. Does this mean that his training isn’t functional?
5. The Back Squat Is Not The Only Squat
I have news for you. The back squat is not the only way to squat. There are other forms of squatting, namely the front squat, the hip belt squat, the Bulgarian split squat…etc.
Maybe, just maybe, people should not feel guilty for doing a different version of the back squat?
6. Be different! Fuck the system!
The only thing that you get from behaving like everybody else is that you become like everybody else – boring and deprived of critical thinking.
If you don’t want to squat, don’t. Be a rebel if that’s what your heart really wants.
7. Being Bottom Heavy May Not Be Your Thing
The squat is notorious for producing people with big hips (a politically correct term for big butts). This could be a problem if your goal is to have a more balanced physique.
Training is a form of communication with the body. When you squat all the time, you’re telling your body that big glutes and legs are very important for your survival, and that’s what you get in return.
The squat is a solid exercise, but at the end of the day, it’s just another tool. Don’t give it properties that it does not possess. Ultimately, training is about principles, not exercises. Exercises are replaceable, principles aren’t.