10 Reasons Squats Are A Terrible Exercise

by Chris on February 18, 2013

It is well documented that squats are a horrible exercise choice for anyone who actually cares about their body. They are reckless, dangerous and an inefficient use of your time. You’re better off doing basically anything else. Here’s why:

• Squats hurt your knees. We all know this to be true – especially if you squat anywhere near to parallel. All of those Olympic weightlifters, pro athletes, powerlifters and bodybuilders who squat all the way down are genetic outliers with divinely engineered knee joints. Plus, steroids.

• Squats require you to place a loaded barbell on top of your spine! It’s practically in direct contact with the vertebra. This is just stupid. It would be different if there were some kind of muscle group there, maybe trapezoidal in shape, that could form a cushion between the bar and your delicate spinal structure but since that hasn’t yet been discovered this statement is 100% accurate.

• You just don’t need to do squats to build muscular, strong legs. Focusing on things like leg presses, leg extension and lunges is a far more effective way to build great legs. All those lifters who used squats were on steroids and that’s the only reason they got results. You need to train the small, assistance muscles in order to pull the skin closer to the muscle anyway.

• The back squat is more of a low back exercise than a leg exercise anyway. Just look at the name: BACK squat. Plus the physics says so. If my math is correct, and according to my PhD. in Mathology from the correspondence college of Nigeria it is, the following formula illustrates my point perfectly:


I won’t bore you by actually explaining what any of that means in terms that any normal person could actually understand. Just suffice it to say that back squats are terrible for you spine. Anyone who says differently is probably on steroids.


• No sport outside of powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting or Crossfit requires you to place a load on your back and lift it straight up. Therefore, squats are not a functional exercise. So why waste your time? It’s not like the ability to exert force using a rigid, neutral trunk and activating the musculature of the hips, knees and torso is ever going to come about in every day life.

• I know this dude whose friend went to school with a Navy SEAL who says squats suck. This point is axiomatic.

• Heavy squats, on top of destroying your knees and back (see the above points), will make you slow. Everyone knows that lifts that move slow make you slow. Therefore, heavy squats will hurt athletic performance.

• Squatting is too hard on the central nervous system. Squatting more than once a month will totally burn out your CNS and lead to overtraining. Nobody in the history of lifting has ever been successful by squatting more than once a week MAX. Nobody. I dare you to find one. The Bulgarians were all on steroids.

• The Olde Time Strongmen didn’t do squats. If they didn’t do them, you don’t need to do them. These dudes were jacked and strong and we’re all pussies nowadays because we don’t do anything they used to do. Including putting extra E’s on of the ende of stuffe that doesn’t neede it. And why didn’t they squat? Because there were no steroids back then.

I know some of you trolls out there are going to say that there are only 9 reasons there. First of all, remember my Mathology Doctorate and stfu. Second, you’re probably all on steroids. Therefore, nothing you have to say regarding training is evenly remotely applicable to us natty lifters.

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joel pucchi February 21, 2013 at 4:44 am

haha, this is actually funny. people are way too serious if they don’t get the humor.

Scott Meier February 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

Great article! Love it! And the comments are just as entertaining. It’s pretty clear who just reads titles, and who actually reads the whole article.

Chris February 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Oh my god these comments are so awesome. I thought the article was funny, but the comments make it so much better. How many more meatheads are going to jump on here with their panties in a bunch and get all keyboard tough-guy on the author?

This guy February 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

1/10. Wasn’t trolled in any way.

Jim February 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

What an idiot

Tone February 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

LOL. “The Bulgarians were all on Steroids”

Atif February 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Totally had to read this twice before getting it was a joke…maybe if i didnt do so many squats id have gotten this faster

anthony February 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm

If this is serious….. You are a fucking idiot.

Christian February 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I use squats to pick up my steroids… I mean I have to take a Metric Shit Ton of them (not Imperial) to be able to do squats.

Agnes February 22, 2013 at 5:31 am

HAHAHA Hilarious!! So glad I read the entire article.

MoeDouche February 22, 2013 at 9:35 am

Love the equation! (XXXXX) to the 531th power! LOL!

Jonathan February 22, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Great post, well done Chris!


dave February 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

bro u r stupid, squats is the best exercise for you hole body. do you even lift bro?????

Greg February 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

You’re a fucking idiot

dan February 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

this guy has to be the biggest fucking retard in the world. hes probably some crossfit fag. go snatch 30kilos for 30 reps you cock sucking ass bandit. Ill go squat hundreds of pounds become stronger and leaner and more badass. what a fucktard.

Carrie February 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

This is hilarious! Notice that the people who comment about squats being amazing, sound completely illiterate. Dave – I think you need to lay off the squats. Your grammar, punctuation, and capitalization is horrible! It should be your “whole” body, not your “hole” body. Don’t forget, you always capitalize the beginning of sentences. Your “squatting” is taking a toll on your brain. Ha ha!!

Christopher Smith February 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Lmao at some of these comments. I can only hope they’re trolling. Otherwise some of the above are an indictment of the writer’s educational level and reading comprehension skills.

Tommy February 25, 2013 at 1:17 am

Lololol! I cannot believe SO many people don’t understand this is satire. How in the world could you not figure after even the opening that it isn’t serious??

Gene February 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Way too funny…love it!

He's making a joke February 28, 2013 at 2:31 am

Pay close attention to what he wrote. The correspondence college of Nigeria. Mathololgy. Trapezoid shaped muscle. He’s just making fun of the real idiots who actually say stuff like this and believe it.

Vladislav March 1, 2013 at 5:59 am

Most stupid thread i’ve ever read my entire life

Andrej March 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm

and according to my PhD. in Mathology from the correspondence college of Nigeria it is, the following formula illustrates my point perfectly:
What an reference.. Mathology – college Nigeria :D


HAHAHAAA this guy is a genious. 531 exponent. One of the funnieste sarcastic articles :))

Yvon Chouinard May 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm

It is a stupid article. I am 77 years old, former Canadian weightlifting champion – 6 times on national podium. Presently in the 60-69 y.o. and 70+ y.o. I hold 19 provincial POWERLIFTING records and 10 Canadian POWERLIFTING records. I have never worn knee protectors and the like. I HAVE NEVER encountered problems with my knees. Never used steroids. I have always trained and competed RAW in both sports for almost 60 years and doing full squats.
You loose all your credibility with such an article!

Paul Hrabal October 7, 2014 at 4:12 am

I also heard the Navy SEALs have banned squats for exactly these same reasons. Good cutting edge science here. Thanks!

Andrew Hubert February 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Let me tell you something. This article is complete full of it. And I can attest. I started squating with the bar 4 months ago and worked my way up to over 300lbs. I am 218lbs. I workout on a linear progression right now until I switch to periodization. I am also drug free! No creatine either. I sqauat 3x per week. I have never felt stronger until I did squats. My knees are stronger my back is stronger. My whole body is stronger. I can run long. Love longer. Girls notice the different in the way I love. I once picked up a guy at my christmas party on my shoulder who later told me damn you did that pretty easy. When you do a linear progression, your body slowly adapts to the additional weight. Bones muscles tendons ligments. If you have problems with squating you are probably starting too heavy. Squat are THE ULTIMATE exerice.

Jason Neet May 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Lawl, took me a minute to realize it was satire.

John October 3, 2015 at 10:30 pm

I once did squats and my best friend had sex with my girlfriend. I never did squats again.

m (@awwgoddammit) November 24, 2015 at 8:54 am

Hmmm. This all seems to run counter to your article in bodybuilding.com. What changed?

shamedepechemode July 1, 2016 at 12:37 am

I started doing Bulgarian squats and I get a better workout with a fraction of the weight. Lunges are great too and you don’t need that much weight either. I started front squats and cut the weight in half and still feel better than putting a heavy load on my back.
When I used to back squat, I would either high bar or low bar. On both I hurt myself, thank God, not permanently, but I don’t want to continue the 2 types of squats to find out. When I switched from high bar to low bar, I felt all the push came from the hips, but the forward lean was too much even though I was able to add 40 pounds or more relative to my high bar. A low bar squat to me is not impressive, whether I do it or see someone else doing it. In fact, I am more impressed with a 185 lb front squat for 6 reps, than a 315 single or two on a a back squat, especially a low bar one.
. Even worse, is when you see an idiot not even come close to parallel on a back squat. Rarely do you see a person go too shallow on fronts, because most people who back squat the wrong way cannot bear to see themselves do a lot less weight with front squats. I saw a dude go atg with a low bar with 4 plates for 5 reps, but I said to myself, that was the best squat in the gym, but I prayed that that dude would not snap his lower back. In fact, he could have easily done two more, but by rep 5 his back was doing the majority of the lift. But hey, he was no more than 22, and at that age your body can still take a beating.

shamedepechemode July 1, 2016 at 1:36 am

2 years ago, I would have felt differently about the back squat and would have disputed this article notwithstanding it being purely satirical, but as I get closer to 50, I really feel the strain on my back. My numbers were never huge, maybe 225 for 10 on a good day and if I felt better, I would throw a dime on each side. Prior to getting the 200s, I would do the bar, then 95, then 135, then 165, then 195, and so on, so I never made dramatic jumps like people who go 135, 225, 315 etc. Also, I went below parallel, and some people even thought I went atg, but even if I did I never felt justice was being done to my back. On high bar my chest was up and my form was solid and I had to lay off because of my back. On low bar 225 felt like 185, but eventually when I got into the mid to upper two hundreds my forward lean did not feel right. In fact, a haughty squat aholic who was working in with me because I have above average courtesy, which is slowly fading by the day, told me I was going to eff my back up doing it with a low bar and forward lean. I think maybe I had 250 on the bar and I more or less told him that when the bar is lower, the lever is smaller. He told me that’s all cross- fit sh%&, and he also acted like I never knew what a high bar squat was. I wrote him off as a typical d bag gym rat.
. At the same time that D bag, was squatting 315 for 8 with good form and high bar, so I couldn’t diss his ability and thought maybe he was a guardian angel in disguise. However, when he put 405 on the bar, he called out a bigger dude to spot him because he probably thought I was inept, and his forward lean was excessive and I think he barely made it to parallel. Talk about hypocrisy and he had a high bar with a lean worse than I can imagine. I could have been a jerk and asked him if I heard an echo, but I could have been more of a jerk when I saw him do half rep pull UPS between his squat sets. Oh well the dude is cocky, probably jacked up, but at least he says hi to me and fist bumps me, but if I talk him more than that I feel like he is bound to piss me off. I am sure I am not the only one, because he acts like he is an ad hoc personal trainer at the gym. Passive dudes will hang with him for only so long.
all, even you jacked up people who are primed to call me the female organ, I hope you don’t eff up your back for the sake of numbers and arrogance.

Peace, the kitty in the gym who does lunges and Bulgarian squats, and real pull UPS for 12.

garciacha2 May 20, 2017 at 9:53 am

squats are the best, bro. They made me a better athlete and my sport is mma.

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