Back and Front Squats are fine. Not everyone can squat heavy but the exercise is still royalty. Mike Young’s article and countless world class athletes are not idiots, the exercise is just an option. The real issue is that the squat is common and measured. Can’t squat deep? Bad Mobility. Can’t squat heavy? Bad strength program. Can’t squat correctly? Bad Strength Coach. Can’t squat at all? Failed rehab. Often squats are measured against norms. 300 yard shuttles are popular and everyone can see the results. The same goes for squatting. If you can’t take the heat stay out of the weight room? I am a moderate. Squat if you can. Don’t fight it if it’s not worth it. Still, anytime you limit something you limit your program. I have an athlete with an injury that he had years ago that prevents him from reverse lunging. This is fine as it’s just an exercise. But what if he can’t back squat? Front squats are not for wimps but they are great ways to teach the rack in the cleans and teach leg dominant squatting patterns. Like olympic lifting, squats are hard work and require extra effort. Many times they exhaust the strength coach or sport coach as you need a lot of qualities to do it well. It would be convenient to just do single leg exercises but like discussed before, single leg exercises cause artificial demands on supporting musculature that isn’t designed for external loads of high demand.
The spine is a coupling agent to the extremities, and often fails before the legs. This is not a problem but a challenge for the coach to overcome with core training and creative solutions. When a wall is in front of me I would rather use bamboo and pole vault over than retreat and run a marathon home. Back strength is not evil, so long as it’s balanced with coordination, joint flow, and endurance. Many coaches are in agreement. Back squats are demanding coaching wise. The dirty work is rewarding though as records fall, athletes develop, and learning continues.