Shallow squats aren't always a slacker move. Sometimes they are the key to a stronger, fitter butt and legs, according to recent research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
The study, led by East Tennessee State University researchers, tracked 17 fit guys who completed a squat-training program for seven weeks. Half of the group completed sets of full weighted back squats (lowering until their knees hit 90 degrees) twice per week. The other half followed the same program except that, half of the time, they kept the squats shallow (so their knees only lowered to 120-degree angles). Both groups performed the squats with weighted barbells, using as much weight as they could while maintaining proper form. At the end of the study, the group that performed both deep and partial squats had upped their strength and power (a measure of how quickly and forcefully your muscles contract) more than those who always got low.