Back Squat

A Quick Guide to Back Squats

also known as

  • Barbell back squat
  • Squat

purpose and benefits

The back squat is a compound exercise that primarily targets the lower body, specifically the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. It also engages the core muscles and helps improve overall strength and stability. The purpose of the back squat is to build lower body strength, increase muscle mass, and improve athletic performance.

primary muscles used

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes

secondary muscles used

  • Calves
  • Lower back
  • Core

How to do back squats

Step-by-step instructions to perform the back squat:

  1. Set up the squat rack or power rack at an appropriate height, with the barbell loaded with the desired weight plates.
  2. Stand facing the barbell, feet shoulder-width apart, and toes slightly turned out.
  3. Step under the barbell and position it on the upper back and shoulders, resting across the trapezius muscles.
  4. Grip the barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, keeping the elbows pointed down and close to the body.
  5. Lift the barbell off the rack, taking a step or two backward to clear the rack.
  6. Take a deep breath, brace the core, and initiate the squat by bending at the hips and knees simultaneously.
  7. Descend until the thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below, keeping the knees tracking in line with the toes.
  8. Drive through the heels and extend the hips and knees to return to the starting position.
  9. Exhale at the top of the movement and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  10. After completing the set, carefully rack the barbell back onto the squat rack.

loading options

  • Dumbbells
  • Barbell

Safety & Precautions

Proper form and technique, combined with an appropriate loading weight, are essential to maximize the benefits of any exercise and minimize the risk of injury.

If you're new to an exercise, start with bodyweight and gradually increase the difficulty as you become stronger. Or consider seeking guidance from a qualified professional to ensure you're performing each exercise correctly for your specific anatomy.