Set Up for Back Squat

  • Begin with the bar racked behind the neck resting on or across the trapezius muscles.
  • Place firm grip on the bar with elbows pulled in tight and down.
  • Stand with heels just outside hips, feet slightly pointed out.
  • Set hips underneath shoulders.
  • Core is tight and maintains tight throughout the entire lift.

Points of Performance for Back Squat

  • Send your hips back and down while maintaining a good lumbar curve.
  • Knees are tracking over the toes.
  • Descend until the hip crease breaks the plane of the knees.
  • Pushing through your heels, drive your knees out, ascend back to your starting position.
  • A “good rep” is when the hips break the plane of the knees at the bottom and when the knees and hips are fully locked and open at the top.

Tips and Tricks

  • Athletes have a tendency to allow their knees to cave in while ascending out of the back squat.
    • Think about pushing the knees out on the way up, corkscrewing your feet into the ground (clockwise with the right and counterclockwise with the left) can help keep those knees in line as well as create more power out of the hole.
  • Athlete should be able to wiggle their toes at any point throughout the front squat.
    • Driving through the heels is key.
  • Having a firm grip on the bar and pulling your elbows together behind your back will result in a tight upper back and translate into a tighter lower back.
  • Pulling your elbows forward in the bottom of your squat will help you keep your chest up and the bar path over the center of the foot.
    • Going soft in the bottom of your squat is an error and is not safe for your back.
  • Taking a big breath and tightening your core before you descend will create a “belly belt” and help keep your back in a safe position.