Many people regard squats as the alpha and the omega of exercises, but I've mostly avoided them due to the fact that they intimidate me--I fear that I don't know how to do them properly (despite having watched a number of instructional videos) and when I "practice" them in front of the mirror (without any weight, just doing the motion), I cannot get low enough. Is this a plain lack of strength thing?
When I do heavy compound lifts, I do deadlifts (and love them), but I feel that I'm missing out by omitting squats from my routine.
What tips do you guys have for a beginning squatters? I used the Smith Machine at the gym today in order to get acquainted with them, but it seemed like a cheap substitute for the real thing.