Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
Perfecting the Barbell Back Squat
Next article

Perfecting the Barbell Back Squat

The Barbell squat is one of our favourite exercises! It is a big compound movement that comes with a range of benefits, but to ensure you are getting the most out of this exercise you want to make sure you are performing it correctly.

The squat is a primary compound exercise, engaging multiple joints (hip, knee, and ankle). By targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, it's a remarkable "bang for your buck" exercise. And that's not all—it strengthens the knee and hip joints, ligaments, and tendons, too.

Let's take a closer look at the major benefits of this mighty movement:

  1. Strengthening the legs (primarily the quads, glutes, and hamstrings)
  2. Boosting core strength
  3. Reducing the risk of injury
  4. Torch those calories, thanks to the multitude of muscles worked.

But wait, there's more! The barbell squat targets a host of major muscles in the body. Sure, the primary ones are the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, but the benefits don't stop there. It also engages the calves, lower back, and core. It's like a whole-body experience, a workout party for your muscles!

Now, let's delve into the nitty-gritty of perfecting this exercise. Technique is everything when it comes to the barbell back squat. Not only does it ensure maximum gains, but it also keeps you safe and sound.

Picture this: The bar rests gently on your upper trap muscles, while your elbows are back, engaging the muscles of your upper back, forming a snug "shelf" for the bar. Un-rack the bar, take three confident steps back, with your feet about shoulder-width apart and toes slightly pointed out. Engage your core and midsection, bracing yourself for the mighty squat. Ready?

As you descend, envision yourself sitting back and down, as if a chair awaits your posterior. Keep going until your hips reach parallel with your knees (if your mobility allows it). Now, as you rise back up, imagine pushing the floor away with all your might. Remember to keep those knees out, aligned with your toes, and squeeze those glutes like you mean it!

Now, let's focus on some of our favourite cues for this exercise. Brace yourself (literally) for these game-changing tips:

  1. BREATHE & BRACE: Before starting the squat, take a deep breath and brace your core, holding it throughout the entire rep. It's the foundation of strength!
  2. KNEES OUT: Keep those knees over the toes, avoiding any inward caving. We want sturdy and stable joints.
  3. SPREAD THE FLOOR: Imagine yourself ripping the floor apart with your legs and feet. Sounds peculiar, I know, but this technique creates tension in your lower body muscles, establishing a solid base for a powerful lift.

Progression is the name of the game. And there are countless ways to achieve it in the realm of squats. So, leave your ego at the door, strip back the weight, and focus on mastering proper technique. It's the simplest yet most overlooked route to success.

Once you've nailed that technique, you can work on other methods of progression, such as:

  1. Slowly adding more weight.
  2. Increasing the number of reps or sets with the same weight - build that muscular endurance.
  3. Incorporating pauses and slower eccentric movements during the lowering phase - this adds more time under tension.

These methods are all part of progressive overload, an essential ingredient in improving any exercise or movement.

But, don't limit yourself to just one type of squat. Explore the vast array of variations available. Here are some of our favourites: DB Goblet squats, BB front squats, Box squats, Pause squats, Pistol squats, and good old bodyweight squats. Including variations not only spices up your routine but also targets and strengthens your weak points.

So, in conclusion, if you yearn for lower body strength, muscular legs, fat loss, or improved overall performance, the Barbell Back Squat is an exercise you absolutely must include in your workout routine.

Remember, perfecting the squat requires technique, dedication, and a dash of creative variations. So grab that barbell and begin squatting... Your legs will thank you!

Cart Close

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping
Select options Close