Proper Squat Technique - How to do Squats

This article explains proper squat technique in a step by step guide. If you understand the importance of barbell squats then you will want to know how to do squats with excellent form.

Heavy squatting requires you to give a lot of strength and energy from your entire body. They are difficult and painful to perform, so chances of injuring yourself are higher than with other exercises. Knowing how to do them properly is vital!

Squat Technique Step by Step

You should always perform your squats in a power rack or a cage for safety reasons. Before we explain how to do squats, you should follow these important tips at all times during your squatting movement:

  • Your head should be pulled back
  • Have a slight arch in your lower back
  • Your chest should be raised
  • Look straight ahead, not up or down
  • Avoid leaning too far forward

Ok, let's get down to business. Here is a step by step guide on how to do squats:

Step 1 - Step up to the bar and place your hands on it with a wide grip as if you were doing bench press. The bar should be placed behind your neck and evenly along your traps. The bar should be resting along the lower part of your traps and across your rear deltoids. If it feels like the bar is almost about to roll off your back then you know you've got it spot-on.

Step 2 - Take a few steps back with the bar still resting on your back as explained in step 1. Be careful when stepping back though, as a lot of squat injuries happen during this step. Make sure you don't step too far away from the squat rack for safety reasons.

Step 3 - Place your feet shoulder width apart or a bit wider, and point your feet out slightly to a 45 degree angle.

Step 4 - Now, with your head pulled back, chest raised, and a slight arch in your lower back, lower yourself down in a slow controlled manner as if you were sitting down on a stool that is behind you. Go down until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground, but not too much lower than parallel. Whilst lowering yourself, breathe in. Also make sure your knees remain in line with your feet at all times.

Step 5 - When you reach the bottom of your squat, which should be when your thighs are parralel to the ground or slightly lower, then you should rise straight away without pausing at the bottom. Use your heels to drive yourself back up and breathe out whilst doing so. Also keep in mind to straighten your back up again.

Step 6 - Once you're back to the starting position, repeat step 4 and 5 until you've completed all your reps.

Now you understand how to do squats with proper squat technique, you should get out and practice doing them. Remember to start with a light weight until your form is excellent. Then you can start adding on more weight and squatting hard for huge muscle mass growth all over your body.

Return to Weight Lifting Exercises from Squat Technique.