Barbell Squat

Quote: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." - Proverb

The squat is a movement that is as old as the human race itself.  We do it without thinking about it when we bend down to pick something up, or play a sport.

Barbell Squat

It is a versatile exercise that can be done with your bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells and a barbell.  The squat can be performed with low reps to increase strength, moderate reps to increase muscle mass and high reps to improve muscular and cardiovascular endurance.  It can be done to improve physical appearance and performance.

Benefits of doing Barbell Squats

There are many benefits to doing barbell squats.  These are health related benefits and performance related benefits.

Health Related Benefits:

  • Strengthens the core and back muscles which are used to keep the body stable when squatting.
  • Helps to prevent injuries.
  • Strengthen your muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • Releases the body’s own natural testosterone and growth hormone allowing the body to increase muscle mass.
  • Burn more fat and calories due to the increase in muscle mass.
  • Helps to flush out waste from the body.
  • Lifts your butt and gives your legs a toned lean appearance.

Performance Related Benefits:

  • Develops functional strength that carries over to other activities.
  • Improves balance in the hips and legs.
  • Help you to jump higher and run faster.
  • Assists the whole body in becoming stronger.

Barbell Squat Technique

  • Position your feet approximately 1.5 times your shoulder width.
  • Point your feet out slightly.
  • Keep your knees in line with your feet.
  • Activate your core.
  • Breathe in through the nose.
  • Keep your chest up, shoulders back, maintain a neutral spine position.
  • Descend towards the ground, move your hips back.
  • Ensure your hips go below your knees.
  • Breathe out through the mouth.
  • Transfer strength from the ground to your feet heels, calves, thighs, glutes and hips and stand up straight again.
  • Squeeze your glutes and abdominals at the top of the movement.

Dos of the Barbell Squat

  • Keep your knees in line with your feet.
  • Use your core.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position during the movement.
  • Position the barbell on top of your trapezius area.
  • Keep the body tight and compact.
  • Keep your chest up, shoulders back, maintain a neutral spine position.
  • Descend towards the ground, move your hips back.
  • Ensure your hips go below your knees.

Don'ts of the Barbell Squat

  • Round your back.
  • Have your knees out of alignment with your feet.
  • Have your hips above your knees at the bottom of the squat.
  • Relax your core.
  • Come up on your toes.
  • Have the barbell too high or too low on the trapezius area.
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