Squats primarily use the muscles of the thighs, hips, buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings. The arms, shoulders, lower back, upper back and abdominal muscles are also trained when squatting with proper form.
Squats are considered a vital exercise that helps increase leg and core strength. The movement performed during the squat exercise begins from a standing position. Weights can be used either in the hand or as a bar braced across the trapezius or rear deltoid muscle in the upper back. Movement initiates by moving the hips back and bending the knees and hips to lower the torso and accompanying weight, and concludes by returning to the upright position.
The squat can be performed to various depths. The standard depth is reached when the upper legs are parallel to the floor. Squatting below parallel is known as a deep squat, while squatting above is known as shallow.
Common errors that occur during the exercise include descending too rapidly and flexing the torso too far forward. Rapid descent increases the risk of injury because the muscle flexion that occurs during the initial movement is lost. Over-flexing the torso increases the force exerted on the lower back and increases the risk of spinal disc herniation.