Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 4 days ago.

2 min read

Video Demo:

Exercise Instructions:

  1. Most people will be comfortable with feet positioned at “10 & 2”, but don’t panic if you’re not, it just means you need to do this a little differently. To find your ideal foot position, think about how you’d stand if I asked you to jump as high as you can.
  2. Now brace your midsection and load the bar onto your upper back.
  3. Control the weight as you sit down and back.
  4. How low you go depends upon what your body will let you do. A 90 degree squat unlocks the maximum benefits this exercise offers, so if your hips allow you to go any further (mine do, see the video) then do so, but if you can’t then don’t worry about it.
  5. Now for the important part – powering up from the bottom of a squat! Many people get this wrong, pushing their bum out and letting their lower back take the brunt of the load. Watch the video, you an see that I keep my chest up, shoulders back, and drive my hips forward HARD. This will make the bar move up in a straight line, keeping the load on your legs and saving your lower back!

Technique Breakdown:

Muscles Worked By This Exercise:

  • Legs (Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings)
  • Back (Lower Back)
  • Abs
barbell squat muscles worked

Alternative Exercises: