Back Squat

The back squat is known as the king of all exercises for its ability to build both physical and mental strength. It should be a staple in everyone training program but remember, not all squats are created equal, so make sure you are performing them correctly to get the most out of this great exercise.

 

How

Place the bar behind the neck, squeeze your shoulders tightly and let the bar rest on your traps. Pull down on the bar to tighten up the lats and keep the bar stable and back solid. Arch the back hard, take a deep breath in and engage everything in your core. Keep it tight. Set your feet between hip and shoulder width with your toes slightly turned out. Keeping your chest up and everything engaged break at the hip and knee together and descend into the bottom of the squat. Full range of motion for the squat is with your hamstrings completely covering your calves, feet flat on the floor, whilst maintaining the arch in your low back. If full range of motion cannot be achieved then you need to work on mobility. Upon reaching the bottom of a squat push aggressively with the legs, Keeping the weight towards the rear of the foot, driving your shoulders up into the bar and ensuring you are keeping the chest up throughout the movement. 

 

Why

When performed with full range of motion the back squat is a great strength builder of the legs, trunk and back extensors whilst promoting full range of motion to the hips and ankle.  It’s a gold standard exercise for developing brute strength and athleticism. 

 

When

There are infinite programming possibilities when it comes to the back squat but more commonly than not for strength gain 1-5 reps are used. However, that’s not to say higher rep back squats don’t have their place and can be programmed every now and then depending on training phase and goals.