THE SIMPLE BARBELL back squat, and the many squat variations, are favorites among powerlifters, bodybuilders, and other athletes for one simple reason: squats work.

Squats are not only effective for building an insanely strong lower body, but also because they deliver a number of ancillary physical benefits, including increased hormone release and improved flexibility.

Weirdly enough, though, squats have a mixed reputation in some circles. We’ve heard plenty of gym myths around squats that simply aren’t true.

Still in doubt? Here are seven reasons why you should make squats a staple of your weekly routine.