What muscles does the back squat work?
This exercise mainly works the quadriceps, also known as the quads. It further focusses more on the gluteals and lumbar spine, and is less tedious when performing high-rep, deep fatiguing sets.
Back squats should be a key part of any lower body routine as they help build a lean physique.
How to perform the perfect back squat?
Squatting is considered one of the most productive if not the best exercises out there however, it is one of the most difficult to learn. If you are new to this exercise, please take a few sessions using just the bar or light weights until your technique is perfected.
Setting up the squat rack...
Set the safety bars to just below the depth you are going. They also act as a guide for the depth you will need to go. Place the J hooks, the hooks that hold the bar for you to get under at the level of your nipple or so. Before adding weight test the bar so that you are able to lift it off the J hooks without difficulty.
What to consider?
The first thing to discuss is your position. You start the exercise standing up straight with your head and shoulders back. This is the proper position of the spine for the squat. Raise your chest; and ensure you have a slight arch in your lower back. At no time during the squat should you bend over at the lower back or look down as it could result in injury.
Now the exercise is ready to perform, place your hands a little further than shoulder with apart so that it is comfortable and make sure you are even on the bar before starting the exercise. Take a deep breath, step under the bar and unrack it. Take a few steps back so you are clear of the j-hooks. Place your feet about shoulder width apart or slightly further than shoulder width apart.
Take a deep breath, tense your abs and begin to squat. It should feel like you are sitting back on a chair behind you and not going straight down. Ensure that you keep your knees in line with your feet. Keep the load light and gradually build up. Try to keep your knees from going out past your toes. Descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground. To reach parallel you will have to bend but bend at your hips and not your lower back, although you should always be more upright than bent over. Once you reach the parallel position or as close to it as possible drive up and avoid bouncing at the bottom. Pull your hips through to ensure your back is kept straight when driving upwards. Return to a standing position, take a breath or two and repeat the exercise.
For more information and variations of the squat exercise ask a member of the Corefit UK Team as we are more than happy to help!