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Exercise: Back Squat

The Back Squat exercise and it's multiple variations are regarded as the most effective movement pattern for developing lower body and functional strength in the training athlete.

Have you tried this exercise? Share your training experience with us.

Primary Muscle Groups: Gluteus Medius & Maximus, Quadriceps (Vastus Lateralis, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Medialis and Vastus Intermedialis), Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris, Semimembranuous & Semitendinuous), Erector Spinae, Adductor Musculature and Abdomen.
Technique Ques: Step 1: With a barbell resting on a stand or in a squat rack, step under the bar and place it on the Trapezius (the bar should not rest on any of the vertebrae bones).  Grasp the bar firmly with your hands at a comfortable width with the elbows back. The bar should be at a height in the rack where you must bend your legs to stand under it.
Step 2: Inhale deeply (to maintain intrathoracic pressure), slightly arch the back by rotating the pelvis forward, contract the abdominal core, look straight ahead, and lift the bar from the stand by extending (pushing through) the legs.
Step 3: After lifting the bar from the rack, take 2 or 3 steps back, and stop with both feet parallel to one another, shoulder width apart. Shift your hips behind you as you drop into a squat position. Be sure to prevent your knees from sliding over your toes during your decent. Throughout the movement, your back should remain in a neutral position, with no rolling through the upper or lower back. Ideal Squat depth is reached once your thighs are parallel to the floor. At this point, your chest should be approx. 45o to the thighs.
Step 4: Push through the middle of the foot and extend the knees and hip as you stand out of the squat position.
Options for Progression: An athlete can progress the difficulty of this exercise by increasing weight, shortening rest durations between sets, increasing or varying the speed of the movement, or increasing the number of sets completed.  Progressions should only be made once correct technique is achieved.

Progressions / Exercise Variations:
Overhead Squat
Squat to Dumbbell Press
Sumo Squat


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This website is not intended to provide medical advice whereby any and all exercise suggestions or recommendations contained within should not be taken as such. Please review the PTSI Privacy Policy and Authorized Use Policy and consult your physican before engaging in any activity described in this website.
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