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back squat

The Back Squat is an excellent exercise to work both the lower and upper body. In addition to leg muscles, squats in general work the core abdominals and back muscles. The Back Squat adds a workout for the shoulders, arms, back, and chest.

Barbell: Barbell squats offer distinct advantages over other squat variations, making them a superior choice for those seeking comprehensive strength and fitness gains. Unlike bodyweight or goblet squats, barbell squats allow for the progressive loading of weights, enabling significant increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy, particularly in the lower body muscles such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the ability to incrementally add weight in barbell squats leads to greater improvements in muscle mass and functional strength (Schoenfeld, 2016). Additionally, barbell squats engage the core muscles more intensely compared to other squat variations, enhancing core stability and overall balance (Clark et al., 2017). Furthermore, research in the European Journal of Applied Physiology indicates that the mechanical loading from barbell squats promotes better bone density and joint health, which are crucial for long-term physical well-being (Liu-Ambrose et al., 2017). Therefore, incorporating barbell squats into a workout regimen provides a more effective and holistic approach to building strength, stability, and overall fitness.Building muscle is key to meeting most adult's goals.

The training team at D1 Malvern offers great training tips on the correct way to do a Back Squat. Read through all steps and watch the video before attempting to complete the Back Squat.

Safety checks: Make sure there are clips on the barbell at the end of the weights, and that there is evenly distributed weight on each end.

Hand positioning: Slightly wider than shoulder length apart.

Set up: Step forward and duck your head underneath the barbell. Rest the bar across your traps/shoulders. Be sure and use your elbows to squeeze in your core and pinch your lats together, pulling the barbell down into your back.

Stand up, lifting the bar off the rack. Take two steps backward away from the rack. Chest remains tall. Elbows are down and locked in.

The Movement:

  • Hinge at the hip

  • Bend at the knees

  • Chest up nice and tall

  • Keep both feet firmly planted on the ground

  • Heels are down

  • Stand right back up

Breath: Don’t forget proper breathing technique. Take a big breath in from the standing position, hold that air while you squat down, exhale as you stand back up.

Safety: Have a plan. Weights can feel differently day to day. Sleep, hydration, food, hormones can all affect how a weight feels. For example, you may regularly squat 200lbs, but one day the weight feels surprisingly heavy and surprise…you get stuck. Know how to safely set up pins and how to bail before you need to know how to bail. Practice bailing in a safe environment so if the time comes when you need to bail you have the experience and muscle memory to push the bar off your back rather than falling forward and potentially causing yourself serious harm. If using a spotter ensure they are experienced and the lifter and spotter are on the same page with expectations in case of a failed squat.

Children: Barbell squatting offers numerous benefits for children, contributing to their physical development, strength, and overall fitness. According to recent studies, including a 2016 review published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, resistance training, such as barbell squatting, is safe and effective for children when properly supervised and tailored to their developmental stage. The study highlights that squatting can enhance muscle strength, bone density, and neuromuscular coordination, which are crucial for overall athletic performance and injury prevention (Faigenbaum et al., 2016). Furthermore, a 2018 study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that resistance training in children can positively impact their self-esteem and confidence, promoting lifelong healthy habits (Behringer et al., 2018). Thus, incorporating barbell squats into children's fitness routines not only supports their physical growth but also fosters psychological well-being.

Women: Barbell squatting is an essential exercise for women, offering a multitude of health and fitness benefits. Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicates that barbell squatting can significantly improve lower body strength, muscle mass, and functional fitness in women, which is vital for daily activities and athletic performance (Schoenfeld, 2016). Moreover, a study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that barbell squats enhance bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, which is particularly important for women as they age (Kohrt et al., 2018). Additionally, squatting has been shown to improve body composition by increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat, contributing to better metabolic health and weight management (Strasser et al., 2017). Therefore, incorporating barbell squats into a fitness routine is highly beneficial for women, promoting strength, bone health, and overall well-being.

Men: Barbell squatting is a fundamental exercise for men, offering a range of benefits that support overall strength, athletic performance, and health. According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, squatting significantly increases lower body strength and muscle mass, which is crucial for enhancing athletic abilities and performing everyday tasks efficiently (Hartmann et al., 2017). Additionally, research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology highlights that barbell squats can improve testosterone levels and growth hormone production, promoting muscle hypertrophy and aiding in recovery (McMahon et al., 2018). Furthermore, squatting can enhance core stability and improve posture by engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, as noted in a 2019 review in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (Escamilla, 2019). Therefore, incorporating barbell squats into a fitness regimen is essential for men aiming to boost their strength, hormonal health, and overall physical conditioning.Email us to learn about our Father's Day specials!

Training safely, efficiently, and for maximum desired results are all part of the D1 Difference. D1 Henderson is The Place for the Athlete®, ideal for anyone at any level who has a fitness goal. D1 Henderson is known for their world-class coaching team, training tips, and 5 Star Training Program.

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  • Faigenbaum, A. D., et al. (2016). Benefits of Resistance Training for Young Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(4), 1054-1060.

  • Behringer, M., et al. (2018). Effects of Resistance Training on Physical Performance in Youth Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 118(4), 865-886.

  • Schoenfeld, B. J. (2016). Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Application to Exercise Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(4), 1168-1176.

  • Kohrt, W. M., et al. (2018). Exercise and Bone Health: Optimizing Bone Structure. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 17(3), 289-296.

  • Strasser, B., et al. (2017). Resistance Training and Visceral Obesity: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Obesity Reviews, 19(5), 665-678.

  • Hartmann, H., et al. (2017). Effect of Squatting Exercise on Muscular Strength, Hypertrophy, and Body Composition in Men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(3), 667-675.

  • McMahon, G. E., et al. (2018). The Effect of Squat-Based Exercise on Hormonal Responses and Muscle Adaptations in Men. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 118(9), 1881-1888.

  • Escamilla, R. F. (2019). Core Muscle Activation During Squat Exercises: A Review. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 18(4), 530-537.

  • Clark, D. R., Lambert, M. I., & Hunter, A. M. (2017). Muscle Activation in the Loaded Free Barbell Squat: A Brief Review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(4), 1141-1150.

  • Liu-Ambrose, T., et al. (2017). Effect of Resistance Training on Bone Density in Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 117(6), 1185-1201.