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  • Writer's pictureFelix Lozano

The Barbell Squat. What Should You Do?

The squat can be a difficult movement. Sure, you're only going up and down; but there is much more to think about when performing the squat. I will describe the variations that come with the squat and how to perform one.

Don't sweat it, you'll get there. It just takes some time.

Muscles Worked:

  • Quadriceps Group

  • Hamstrings Group

  • Glutes

  • Abdominals

Back and core is also used for stability, so having a strong back is useful, although it can improve as you move up in weight for barbell squats.


How to Perform the Squat:

The Stance

The grip on the barbell is important to support the bar on your back. You could try either a closed grip or an open grip. The distance of the grip also has an effect on your squat.

  • An open grip means the thumbs are with your other fingers and not wrapped around, while a closed grip means that the thumb is wrapped.

  • While starting out, the grip distance can be wide, although consistently warming up your shoulders to shorten that distance can greatly help the tightness of your body, so that the lift becomes easier.

  • I do an open grip as it was easier for me to start out with and it doesn't seem necessary to close when the bar is just on your back.

Bar placement is more of a preference and depends on what type of training you would like.

  • High barbell placement means that it sits above your trapezius muscle, while low barbell placement is below your trapezius muscle.

  • Low bar placement gives better stability for higher weight, so if that is the goal I highly recommend that.

Feet placement is very variable, so just try your best.

  • The general rule is to have your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and then point your feet outward at about a 45 degree angle

Head placement is a preference and should be where you feel comfortable

  • It is generally done that you may look about 8 feet in front of you when squatting, but you can look higher or lower if you would like.

The Movement

  1. Push from your heels when doing a low bar squat. While doing a high bar squat, you might need to lean slightly forward, around a mid foot push.

  2. Keep your back straight tight by squeezing your shoulder blades together and moving them slightly down.

  3. When you squat, make sure to not go down to fast, as that may hurt your knee joint.

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