Learn how to Squat

Another big daddy. Another comprehensive, systemic, full body growth builder. Add power and mass with the squat and improve your athletic ability and durability. The accent is on the glutes (butt muscles) and quadriceps (thigh muscles). Unless you have racks from which you can retrieve the bar, you'll "clean" the bar and locate it across your shoulders. This is no easy task and will result in your using a light weight for high repetitions. Fine. Gives you the opportunity to practice your clean and press (a mighty movement requiring technical skill and practice) and get your lower back, knees and thighs well prepared for your future of heavy squats - a must if you can and will.

Bar in place across the traps and shoulders, slowly lower yourself as if you were about to sit down in a chair. The butt goes out and down, your lower back, hips and knees bend all in concert. Down you go, keeping your eyes straight ahead, bar steady and over your knees, with feet flat, until your thighs are near ground parallel. Up you go pushing off with your heels being careful not to tip forward and allow the back and bar ascent to lag behind the leg thrust. Upright, take a deep breath, hold it going down keeping the torso muscles tight, reach parallel, push up and exhale as you ascend. Repeat till the reps are achieved - 1.5-2.0 seconds down, 1.5-2.0 seconds up. You got it? You got it. Don't try to walk up or down stairs for a day or two. It'll be ugly.

Dave's top squat device will put life back in the squats of those of you with shoulder problems; for a more complete picture of your path back to hearty leg workouts, check it out.

Ready for more? Let's start here, with the time-honored description, How to Squat.

Recently one of the IronOnline forum members asked for input into squatting form and tips, in which you can interject any squat form questions you might have, and below that is a link to an earlier forum interchange on poor squatting form , similar, yet different.

Much more leg training information, including how to front squat or overhead squat, a review of the manta ray and buffalo bar, and a full archive of deadlifting dialogue (instruction, photos and a conversation covering when to insert deads into your weekly routine), see the IOL leg training information page.

An outstanding way to learn to squat is with goblet squats, a Dan John invention created specifically to teach good squatting form.

The more advanced will perhaps have heard whisperings about 20 rep squats, but perhaps have not been close enough to suffer the yelling that follows one of these mighty high-rep sets. Your questions about 20-reppers will be answered at the first link, and here's an excerpt from Randy Strossen's book, Super Squats, at the lower link.

Our pal Boris Bachmann offers a wealth of information in his free Squat RX videos here.