Home Articles The Squat: Good Exercise Gone Bad?

The Squat: Good Exercise Gone Bad?

Written on December 3, 2009 at 6:16 am, by Eric Cressey

A few weeks ago a video of strength coach Mike Boyle presenting at a seminar hit the Internet, and boy did it piss some people off. Why? Just take a look at this quote from Boyle:

“This is going to be the hardest thing for people to accept. The muscle-head crowd, the T-Muscle crowd…they’re gonna be like, ‘Mike you’re saying don’t do squats any more.’ Yes, I’m saying don’t do conventional squats any more.”  I watched the clip again. No more squatting? But isn’t it the king of lower body exercises? Just what the hell was going on?

So I called Boyle to get his thoughts. Then, because I wanted to hear other points of view, I called Dave Tate, Christian Thibaudeau, and Eric Cressey.

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4 Responses to “The Squat: Good Exercise Gone Bad?”

  1. Jeff Says:


    My son is a hockey player and I was wondering what exercises he could do to help with hips so as I read you mentioned that hockey players tend to have bad hips.


  2. John Says:

    There is a lot of defence of the squat in the article and rightly so. It is a great exercise. I really do not know what the figures are but I bet there are less people hurt by the squat that getting out of bed or coming down the stairs in the morning. The squat is more than an exercise it is a way of life if you training hardcore with weights.
    Stay Well Stay Happy

  3. Josh Says:

    I truly believe that it is a situation based decision when looking at the individual who is training. I believe in squats providing benefit to many athletes; however, I do agree Mr. Michael Boyle that it seems to be more of a back exercise than a leg exercise for the reasons that he pointed out. A point is made by fixing what is lacking to improve performance in the sport, daily life, and in other exercises. You have to progress, and I believe single-leg exercises are a great tool, and I use them all the time even in my own training. Squats are an intense exercise. Due to the fact, I don’t believe anyone should be starting with conventional squats. As mentioned before, an athlete must have proper ankle mobility, thoracic mobility, and lumbar stability in order to perform the squat correctly. If they can’t it should be done…at least not yet. In my opinion it depends on the individual. Anyone who is not training for a sport, just for general health, I owuld not have them perform conventional squats. You do not need to be able to squat 400 pounds to get onto and up off the couch.

  4. ben Says:

    I think it’s kind of a cop-out to just exclude yourself from squatting ever again because you failed some movement screen. I used to be a terrible squatter and even with months of educating myself, working on my mobility and most importantly squatting a lot I still have a long ways to go. That being said, I’m improving a lot in terms of form and weight and overall strength and I believe that can be attributed to perservering to improve my squat.

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