A proper squat (video below) is one of the most important lifts to master and not one that should ever be skipped. It’s a full body exercise that teaches the body how to really move as one. It may not be an exercise for beginners so try it with just your body first to make sure you have the form down!
When squatting, or performing exercises like it, make sure your heels don’t leave the ground. You often see people pushing through their toes when the weight starts to get heavy. This puts your body in a bad position to execute the squat, not only putting tension on your knees, but also causing you to lift your hips first turning the movement into more a ‘good morning.’ If your flexibility is poor and those heels refuse to stay on the ground try elevating them by putting small plates (2.5 pounds) under them. This will put you into plantar flexion allowing for greater range of motion during the eccentric phase of the lift.
The key is not to shift all your weight too far backwards putting you off balance. When you feel off balance you really aren’t going to be able to lift heavy weights. Think of your feet like the wheels on a bicycle. The front balls of your feet are the front tire, while your heel is the back. The balls of your feet are responsible for more balance, direction, and mobility, while the heel is where most of the force comes from. And where do sit on a bike? In between the wheels! So therefore, your weight during a squat should be distributed between the back of your heels and the balls of your feet.