What is the proper way to do squats?
You better find out before you start doing squats.
Even though the squat is one of the most powerful exercises for your entire body, the squat can also be one of the most dangerous, if you do not learn the proper way to do squats and keep practicing perfect technique.
Start with just your body weight and go up gradually in weight on the bar.
Do not be a fool and endanger your body.
You must internalize the proper way to do squats, in your mind and in your body.
Proper Way to Do Squats – Warmup
In the squat, do at least 5 warm-up sets, 5 reps, 4 reps, 3, 2, and 1 – each set using a bit heavier weight till you are ready for your work set.
For example, if you are going to do a squat workout with 100 pounds, warm up with:
- 45lbs for 5 reps,
- 65 pounds for 4 reps,
- 85lbs for 3 reps,
- 90 pounds for 2 reps and
- 95lbs for 1 rep
At that point, you are ready to do your five work sets of five repetitions with 100 pounds.
PS Before your squat workout with weights, make sure to do some practice squats with great form without weights.
Proper Way to Squat – The Commandments
Here are the most important guidelines for the proper way to do squats:
1. Do not hold the barbell with your hands as much as with your back.
2. Put the bar right above your traps, a bit below your shoulders, without using any padding so you can feel the weight of the bar.
3. The bar’s weight should be on your body, not on your hands or wrists, so best to keep your thumb above the bar instead of underneath.
4. Start with a light weight and just the bar itself is fine.
5. Feel the bar’s weight on your shoulders and not on your wrists.
6. Feel that bar’s weight to be directly over the middle of your foot.
7. Keep your feet at your heels about shoulder-width from each other.
8. Point your toes out at about 11 am and 1 pm on a clock or about 30 degrees.
9. Keep your head down a bit looking towards a point low on the wall in front of you.
10. Don’t admire your self in the mirror, that means that you are holding your head up too high.
11. When you start your descent in the squat, make sure that your knees are pushing outwards.
12. Keep your knees above your toes.
13. Feel your rear lowering below the top of your knees and think of yourself as you are going to bounce back up from the lowest position using the muscles of your tuchas, aka rear end, aka as your posterior chain.
14. Your descent should be controlled.
15. When your rear end hits below parallel, think of your butt being pulled up straight to the ceiling.
16. You should not feel like you are pushing hard with your feet against the floor.
17. You should not feel as if you are struggling with your upper body to lift up the weight in the squat.
18. You should not feel as if your knees are absorbing all of the weight and have all the pressure to power up the weight.
19. You should feel as if it is your posterior chain, your rear that is powering you back up. The big proper way to do the squat secret is in focusing on using your glute muscles to power the squat. I have erred in the past because I never thought of those muscles and was not aware that is where I should be driving from.
20. Feel as if you are driving up the weight vertically using the power in your posterior chain.
21. Feel as if you are moving the weight perfectly vertical down and up.
22. Make sure to take a deep breath in before beginning your descent and keep holding your breath until you are standing again.
23. If you do the squat this way, your knees should feel more like a joint that your legs are gliding around, rather than the prime mover of the weight.
24. Before you begin your descent, make sure that your chest is up.
25. Your body should be straight, head neutral, looking a bit down, lowering the weight and elevating in a perfectly straight line with the middle of your foot.
26. Do 3 to 5 sets of 5 reps with your workout weight.
You can choose to go up 5 lbs every workout or 5lbs every week, your choice till you get to heavier weights.
Never sacrifice good form for higher weights.
I was not happy with my squat form a few months ago and started from the beginning again with no weight and then with the 45lb bar.
Everything that I have learned from Starting Strength for the best squat technique has been very helpful.
- Hardcover Book
- Mark Rippetoe (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 347 Pages - 01/01/2011 (Publication Date) - Unknown (Publisher)
See The 10 Best Strength Training Books On the Market in 2024 for more great options.
Proper Ways to Do Squats – Final Thoughts
I have worked hard on incorporating and understanding the squat technique and so far have been very pleased with the results.
Today’s squat workout felt the best at 125lbs that I have ever experienced.
If you spend the time, thought and energy reviewing and practicing these 26 proper ways to do Squats rules, your squat workout will be more effective and safe.