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How to Squat

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

In this Video you will see Dr. Aaron Horschig from Squat University .

He teaches the proper way to squat. His Youtube Channel and Website a wealth of information. I encourage you to subscribe to his channel.

The squat is typically one of the first barbell exercises young athletes are taught today. By perfecting technique an athlete has the potential to lift bigger weights with less risk for injury. Any flaws in their technique will limit their maximum potential.

The first part of successful barbell squats at the rack. The bar should be set around chest height. Setting the bar too high or too low can force a lifter to put themselves in a dangerous position in order to un-rack and re-rack the weighted barbell.

The next step is to get the bar into the correct position on your back. Pull yourself under the bar and trap it tight against your tops of your shoulders and back of your neck. By pulling your shoulder blades together a ‘shelf’ will appear through the contraction of the upper back muscles. The bar should be positioned on top of this shelf.

Position yourself under the bar with your feet evenly spaced around shoulder width. Take a big breath while bracing your core. Extend your hips and knees at the same time (with even pressure between both legs) and stand up with the bar.

Often athletes try to un-rack the bar with their feet staggered. With lighter weight on the barbell it is easy to get away with this move. However, as soon as the weight increases to high levels, un-racking the barbell in this manner can be dangerous.

After un-racking the bar properly, take three slow steps backwards and establish your squat stance. Next, the ‘tripod’ foot needs to be engaged. All three points of the foot need to be in equal contact with the ground. If done properly, the foot will move into a full arched position. This allows the foot to remain stable and support the rest of our body just like the base layer for a ‘house of cards.’

The next step is to create external rotation torque at the hips. By squeezing your glutes, torque is generated at the hip joint and the knees are brought into correct alignment with the toes. Next, take another big breath ‘into your stomach’ and brace your core like Mike Tyson is going to punch you.

The last step is to engage the posterior chain (glutes & hamstrings). This happens with a proper hip hinge. Push your hips backwards slightly and bring your chest forward. Once the hips are engaged, start your squat. Don’t think about going to a certain depth. Just squat. If you are performing a quality squat, your body will remain in balance (you'll notice the bar will track over the mid foot when viewed from the side).

Master squat technique:

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