Exercise The Right Way - The Back Squat

Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuilders' training regimes.

It is useful, therefore, to describe in detail the processes involved in actually doing these exercises. This will help beginners to start out using the correct techniques before moving on to potentially more dangerous heavy weights. If it also helps more experienced lifters to redress some of the little faults that have almost imperceptibly crept in over the years, all the better.

In this article we'll take a close look at the back squat.

MUSCLES TARGETED: gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, biceps femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, rectus femoris

STARTING POSITION

Grasp the bar with a closed pronated grip.
Step under the bar and position the feet parallel to each other.
Place the bar in a balanced position on the upper back and shoulders.
Hold the chest up and out.
Pull the scapulae toward each other.
Tilt the head slightly up.
Extend the knees and hips to lift the bar.
Take one or two steps.
Place the feet shoulder width apart, even with each other with the toes pointed slightly outward.
This is the starting point for all repetitions.

DOWNWARD MOVEMENT

Allow the hips and knees to slowly flex.
Maintain a flat back, high elbows, with the chest up and out.
Keep the heels on the floor with the knees aligned over the feet.
Keep flexing the hips and knees until the thighs are parallel to the floor.

UPWARD MOVEMENT

Extend the hips and knees at the same rate.
Maintain a flat back, high elbows, with the chest up and out.
Keep the heels on the floor with the knees aligned over the feet.
Keep extending the hips and knees to return to the starting position.
Repeat or finish set.

Richard Mitchell is the creator of the bodybuildingadvisor.com website that provides guidance and information to athletes at all levels of bodybuilding experience. Go to Bodybuilding Exercises to learn more about the issues covered in this article.

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