Barbell Back Squats

Barbell Back Squats

What You'll Need
Squat rack, Barbell, Plates. Oh, and the desire to prove everyone's assessment of your athletic potential is off.

Why You Should Be Doing This Exercise
There is no better exercise to help you as an athlete. Period. It works your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Now that's a sport specific bunch.

Start
1. Set up the safety bars on the side of the squat rack in case you aren't able to complete a rep. It happens. No shame in it, but there is in not being prepared for it possibly happening.
2. Get under the bar with your knees slightly bent, rest the bar on your traps (below your neck), and grip the bar so that your wrists are perpendicular to the bar. You hands should be widely spread, in a comfortable position.
3. Stand up so that the bar is off of the rack, take a couple of steps back and position your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Ready, because you look like you are.

Middle
1. Begin by bending your hips and knees at the same time.
2. Keep your back straight and head up as you go downward to a point where your quads are at least parallel to the ground.
3. Be sure to push through your heels (as opposed to your toes) when you hit parallel and start to get back to the starting position.

Finish
1. Once you're finished return the bar to the rack.
2. Take a look at yourself. No, really. What you just did was commit to getting better. No longer talking about it, you're being about it. Squat up!

Key Don'ts
1. Be sure to keep your butt back and push through your heels as you squat.
2. If you begin to arch your back you're using too much weight.
3. Make sure that safety bars are set up in a position where you can bail out from under the bar safely before you begin the exercise.
4. If you're not getting your quads parallel with the floor, then you're saying to yourself, nah, I'm good without really laying it on the line. Guess who loses in that scenario?