Top tips for squats

Top tips for squats

Top tips for low bar back squats:
 

1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes.To begin set the bar on a rack to just below shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.

2. Hold the bar using both arms and lift off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.

3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out to 30 degrees. Keep your head up and chin down at all times whilst maintaining a flat back (like you are holding an apple underneath your chin).

4. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and hips as you tilt your torso forward, continue moving into a squat by pushing your knees out and putting your weight back into your heels. Go as low as you can whilst maintaining the above posture tips.

5. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with your heels and driving up through your hips.

6. Repeat this for 5 - 8 reps for a total of 3 to 4 sets. Be sure to rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

Caution: This is not an exercise to be taken lightly. If you have back issues, substitute it with the dumbbell squat variation or a leg press. If you have a healthy back, ensure you maintain perfect form throughout the exercise and never slouch forward as this can cause back injury. Be cautious with the weight used, if in doubt doubt, use less weight. The squat is a very safe exercise but only if performed properly.

 
Top tips for barbell front squats: 

 

1. This exercise is also best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin set the bar on a rack just below shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step forward placing the bar across the chest and shoulders (below the neck, not on the collar bone). Hold the bar in place with your fingertips, keeping your elbows up (in line with your shoulders) or hold the bar in place by stepping forward and placing the bar across the chest and shoulders then crossing your arms over the bar (keeping your elbows up and in line with your shoulders).  

2. Lift the bar off the rack using your favoured arm position while pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.

3. Step away from the rack and position your legs shoulder width apart and toes pointed out to 30 degrees. Keep your head up and chin down at all times whilst maintaining a straight back.

4. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and keeping your back straight as you continue down into a squat position, by pushing your knees out and putting the weight into your heels. Go as deep down as you can while maintaining correct posture.

5. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heels of your feet and driving up through your hips. 

6. Repeat this for 5 - 8 reps for a total of 3 to 4 sets. Be sure to rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

toni | 19 April 2017