The squat and its many variations (front squats, back squats, sumo squats, etc.) Are the best exercises you can ever perform for leg development.
The compund nature of the squat not only helps build muscle and strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, they also create the ideal environment throughout the entire body; naturally releasing testosterone and growth hormone, squats provide a highly anabolic environment for all other areas to grow when trained. It's important to note that the squat isn't a MUST, but when talking about what's OPTIMAL, the squat beats every other exercise. Not only for leg development, but it also burns more calories rep per rep than any other exercise. Correct range of motion, form, function and execution are all musts so as to not only avoid injury, but to also gain the strength and create proper muscle stimulation for growth. So before you squat heavy, make sure you KNOW how to squat. If you feel uncomfortable or feel pain when performing the squat, you're doing something wrong!
The most common problem people come across when trying to perform a squat with proper depth is the lack of mobility. So mobility work and flexibility are important when trying to perfect your form with this compound exercise. Tips:
1. Never let your knees cave in 2. Keep a straight or slightly arched back, never rounded. 3. Squat with proper depth 4. The bar path should be in a straight vertical motion. 5. Push with your heels, not your toes.
6. Point your toes slightly outwards
7. Knees passing the toes is allowed to some extent. Specially for people with long lims, keeping your knees behind your toes is probably going to feel imposible.
8. Understand the structure of your body to find the stance that works best for you.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave a comment below.