Personal Trainer Tips: Barbell Back Squat

Learn how to perform a barbell back squat (Photos by: Timothy Flynn - Dearhunter Photography)

The Barbell Back Squat is a popular exercise that targets your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves. The move works the whole body, but is ideal for increasing lower body strength and increasing muscle size.

Here’s a quick guide on how to properly perform a barbell back squat.

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Barbell Back Squat Instructions:

Personal Trainer Tips: Barbell Back Squat

Step One: Start with your feet hip width apart, core engaged with your shoulders back and down keeping a neutral spine. Grasp the barbell with a closed grip and your elbows pointed down.

 Personal Trainer Tips - Barbell Back Squat

Step Two: Begin going down breathing in for a count of four seconds, while maintaining a neutral spine until your knees are about 90 degrees or thighs parallel to the floor (depending on your range of motion).

Personal Trainer Tips: Barbell Back Squat

Step Three: Stand up breathing out for a count of 2 seconds until your knees are straight but not locked!

Step Four: Repeat 12 – 15 times with a weight that is challenging for the last few reps while maintaining good form.  

* Barbell Back Squat Trainer Tips

• Avoid rounding the back.
• Ensure that your knees are in lined with your middle toe through the squat.
• Keep your hips squared by evenly distributing the weight between your heel/ toe and between left/ right leg.
• Rest the bar on your upper trapezius muscles below your pointy bone on your upper back.


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