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How to Perform the Perfect Barbell Squat: A Step-by-Step Guide

August 03, 2023 3 min read

How to Perform the Perfect Barbell Squat: A Step-by-Step Guide

The barbell squat is a classic exercise that works your legs, glutes, and core. When performed correctly, it can help improve your strength and power, as well as your overall fitness. In this article, we'll provide a step-by-step guide to performing the perfect barbell squat.

Step 1: Set Up the Barbell

The first step in performing a barbell squat is to set up the barbell. Place the barbell on a squat rack at a height that is appropriate for your height. Stand in front of the barbell and grip it with an overhand grip, just wider than shoulder-width apart. Your hands should be positioned on the barbell so that they are comfortable and allow you to maintain good posture throughout the exercise.

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Step 2: Position Your Feet

Next, position your feet. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. This will help ensure that your knees track over your toes as you squat down, which can help prevent knee injuries. Your feet should be positioned so that your weight is evenly distributed across the balls of your feet and your heels.

Step 3: Engage Your Core

Before you begin the movement, it's important to engage your core. This will help protect your lower back and ensure that you maintain good posture throughout the exercise. To engage your core, imagine that you're trying to pull your belly button back towards your spine. This will help activate your abdominal muscles and provide stability for your spine.

Step 4: Lower Your Body

Now it's time to begin the movement. Slowly lower your body by bending your knees and hips, keeping your back straight and your chest up. As you lower down, focus on keeping your weight on your heels and your chest lifted. This will help prevent your knees from collapsing inward and ensure that you are using the correct muscles to perform the exercise. Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or until your hip joint is lower than your knee joint.

Step 5: Push Back Up

Once you've reached the bottom of the squat, it's time to push back up to the starting position. Keep your core engaged and your chest up as you straighten your legs and push through your heels to return to the starting position. As you push up, focus on squeezing your glutes and maintaining a neutral spine. This will help ensure that you are using the correct muscles to perform the exercise and prevent injury.

Step 6: Repeat the Movement

To complete one repetition of the barbell squat, repeat the movement for the desired number of reps. It's important to maintain good form throughout the exercise, so be sure to keep your core engaged, your chest up, and your back straight. As you perform each repetition, focus on moving smoothly and consistently, and avoid rushing through the movement.

The barbell squat is a great exercise for building strength and muscle in your legs, glutes, and core. By following these steps, you can perform the perfect barbell squat and get the most out of this exercise. Remember to start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger. With practice, you'll be able to master this essential exercise and achieve your fitness goals.