Performed correctly, a squat is a stellar functional movement which strengthens the glutes, quads, back, and core. Performed incorrectly, a squat will permanently compromise your physicality, doom you to infirmity, and bring your every slimy shortcoming to the forefront for all to see.

The squat originated 420,000 years ago, when a Neanderthal named Hoog saw a tasty nut on the ground and invented bending down. We now know Hoog as the founder of Muscle Milk.

Like with any exercise, nutrition is key to squat form. Consider fueling your squat with a high-protein meal the night before. No, not that kind of protein. Mmm, no, not that one, either.

To perform a perfect squat, you’ll need to select a weight that is 77.5% of your one-rep max. If you aren’t sure what that is, ask the nearest Trevor.

Successful squatters choose comfortable, non-restrictive clothing—like leggings, joggers, an enormous floral muumuu, an inflatable Grimace costume stolen from a nearby McDonald’s warehouse, or a full-body Under Armour jumpsuit that clutches you menacingly like a spider forcefully swaddling its prey. Do not—do not—wear shorts, oh my god.

Popular squat varietals include Back Squats, Front Squats, and Boot Cut.

Fun fact: Squats were key to building the eye-popping physique of Downton Abbey heartthrob Maggie Smith.

The squat has been known by many names. In Berlin, “kniebeugen.” In ancient Rome, “recumbo.” On the moon, “that dumbass thing Buzz Aldrin keeps doing.”

Squat racks can be intimidating for newcomers. If you’re feeling nervous, survey your fellow gym-goers and ask yourself: In an emergency, could you eat them?

Isaac Newton discovered gravity while daydreaming near the squat rack, as his training partner was slowly crushed under 405.

Quick etiquette tip: At the gym, it’s generally considered impolite to stare someone dead in the eye as you squat, ever lower, dropping your thorax menacingly down in a perfectly straight line while performing Tibetan throat chants. At the grocery store, it’s fine.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” His squats sucked.

The squat doesn’t just build your body, it even improves your memory. Not only that, it also improves your memory.

In a sense, squats are like jazz. In other, more important senses, they are not.

A surefire way to nail your squat is to invent time travel, go into the future, steal gene editing technology, return to the past, and optimize your own unborn fetus’s hip structure. Scratch out “Squat 3×5” in your workout planner and write “Apply to MIT Quantum Physics PhD program.”

Finally: Tell me what kind of shoes you’re wearing, and I’ll tell you why they’re wrong.