Barbell Squats

how to do squats

How to do barbell squats (technique)

Barbell Squats Exercises are basic for any leg workout, glutes and hips development. A vast majority of bodybuilders consider squats as a ‘king of Exercises’, and for the reason: squats do, like nothing else, provide a significant load to muscles, ligaments and bones of lower body. It means, that through this leg exercise you can build the body you’ve desired for years, even if you do only this one exercise. An evidence of squat’s high status is it’s presence in any competition between powerlifters .

Squats barbell questions

Still, in the recent years a number of question have appeared, that became a reason of squats unpopularity. The main controversial point is the safety of this leg exercise to knees and lumbar spine. Some specialist assume that if during the exercise you go deeper that the knee parallel, you overbend your knee joints that lead to irreversible changes in knee anatomy. So, squats are not recommended to be done deeper than knee parallel and not recommended to be done at all to people with such joint problems as dysplasia or arthritis. For any other cases when you’re going to perform barbell squats at the regular basis, you need to be sure that you use optimum weight (it excludes lumbar spine and abdominal overstraining) and not leaning to far (at can lead to serious back trauma). Full exclusion of squats exercises from the training is not preferable, because this very exercise has a wonderful balance of loading your muscles.

Barbell squat technique.

The first thing you should do before performing barbell squats is to check your stance. Starting position for squat exercise is standing straight with your feet and shoulders width apart. If you need to work on the outside of your tight, than the stance should be narrower, if on the inside – wider. There are also a variety of weights to be used on your shoulders during squats:

— squats machine;

— dumbbells in your hands;

— a barbell which is lying on your upper back.


But my opinion is only barbell squats. This form give us real power.


SQUATS BARBELL squat techniqueIf you want to reduce the risk of injury to the minimum, you better use power cage or Smith machine while doing squats. In all other cases, especially if you’re a freshman in this type of exercises, you need a spotting partner to cover you. You can also use such instruments as special shoes that gives special comfort to ankles or weight lifting belt that supports your torso and allow to bend a bit deeper if it’s necessary.

Other thing you definitely have to check out is that you’re warmed enough for squats, especially if you do heavy ones. Don’t forget to warm up your legs and torso, otherwise the exercise won’t be effective and even traumatic for your joints.

If your form is correct, start the exercise. With the barbell resting on your shoulders bend your knees while your back remains straight. Don’t look down or curve your upper part of body in any other way. You have to go lower until your thighs become parallel to the ground. There is a variation when your thighs are quarter-parallel to the ground, which is easier than parallel squats and need to be perform more slowly. Most squats are performed somewhere between the quarter and the parallel. Going deeper tat parallel is not quite comfortable for the body, but still can be done if needed. When you reach the angle you want, raise up with the power of thighs only, still keeping yourself straight.

barbell squat technique The key point of barbell squats technique is to do exercise as heavy and slowly as possible, but don’t overdo. If you feel too much tension in your knees or lumbus during first squats, make it easier and try harder next time. Other points to remember include obliging exhale while your exert – in squats this moment is when you’re rising. Also don’t forget to concentrate on your form and work of certain muscles while training.

If you get bored of squats, try different variations: front squats with the weight in front of the body; hack squats with the weight behind the legs; overhead squats with the weight over the head. You can also compete so-called ‘pistol’ – single leg squat, where one leg remains straight and is kept in the air.

As you can see, squats are perfect to build muscle mass in your thighs, buttocks and hips and should be used as much as possible despite it’s toughness and number of nuances to be remembered.

How to do squats barbell (technique) Written by: Dennis Borisov
© May 2010 All rights reserved. Reprint article with link only.