Squats cause more weight room injuries than any single exercise I have ever seen. Usually poor technigue and too much weight. Squats can be death to knees and backs and once again the main benefit is to strengthen the quads which are already too strong for most hamstrings.
OK Rod, ya got me worried now.
First, the whole hammy/quad (im)balance thing makes a ton of sense to me. I was a sprinter in high school and college (100 up to the 400), so I've got pretty well-developed hammies from those 8 years of strength-building weightroom work. My high school coach was a bear about leg curls instead of presses, so I had to do way more of those than I ever wanted. He also loved to have us run stadium steps, which I thought was pure torture, but in retrospect Thank God for Coach Yancy! Of course my quads were still way stronger than the hammies, but I never suffered any significant injuries during those years other than one or two hammy tweaks - unlike a lot of sprinters I was around, who often had much more serious hamstring and Achilles tendon issues.
Fast-forward about 30 years to a 52 YO guy who has not done any running of significance since hanging up the track shoes after college, but has concentrated for the past 20 years on hiking - usually the mountainous type. Quads are still very strong, hammies less so. Everything works the way it's supposed to, but my knees seem to have weakened in the past few years, exhibiting all kinds of lovely cracking and popping when I squat down and rise again. I rarely ever experience any knee discomfort on the trail, only in deep squats. That's why
I started my squat routine - to flex and strengthen these knees that really haven't been flexed regularly since I gave up Tae-Kwon-Do 20 years ago. Am I doing the wrong thing with deep squats, holding about 40 pounds in soft weight between my legs?