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Squats are many people’s favorite full-body exercise. It’s essential for lower body and hip strength, Romero says. It’s more challenging but equally as effective when you add weight, she adds. The most obvious benefit of squats is building your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. These drills also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building, improving muscle mass. The squats also activate you glute and back muscles.