Basics: How to Squat Properly

Hailed as the “king of all exercises,” the squat is one of the few exercises that can challenge large muscle groups with great intensity.  The squat is a key component in two of the best barbell strength training programs: Starting Strength and Strong Lifts for its ability to build muscle mass and strength in the lower body and core.  You will also never grow tired or bored of squatting as it is versatile and can be performed in a variety of ways and with varying weights.  However, you cannot achieve any of the stated benefits without proper technique and form. Good form is critical.

A few things to remember:

– Squat down enough until you can go below parallel and deep enough without compromising form

– Let your knees travel as far as they need to.  As long as you are driving your hips back, letting your knees go past your toes should not be considered as improper form

– Do not round or arch your back but do maintain a neutral spine

– Gary Crawford

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