Barbell squats - how to do it right? Benefits and technique step by step

Barbell squats - how to do it right? Benefits and technique step by step

Barbell squats - how to do it right? Benefits and technique step by step
Barbell squats - how to do it right? Benefits and technique step by step

Barbell squats are a key exercise for pumping the lower body. When performed, not only the muscles of the legs (including the buttocks) are involved, but also the abdominal muscles, as well as the stabilizing muscles of the body and spine.

In general, you can't build a powerful athletic physique without squats - while doing this exercise regularly can help you build muscle faster. Why is barbell squats so important and how do they affect your figure?

Squat with a barbell

Barbell squats are one of the five basic multi-joint exercises. When you do squats, the work involves the entire lower body - from the muscles of the buttocks and thighs to the calves, as well as the muscles of the body, abdomen and lower back.

In addition, because the correct barbell squat technique involves powerful exhalation when lifting, it trains the respiratory system - including the muscles of the diaphragm. That's why regular squats not only allow you to swing your legs, but also create powerful bellies.

Despite all the benefits of exercise, improperly performed squats can put stress on the lower back and overload the knees. If you want to learn how to squat properly, you need to carefully study the technique, performing the exercise with a blank bar.

What are the benefits of exercise?

Squats are important for the harmonious development of muscles and are the backbone of the main weight training program. In addition to directly pumping the legs and buttocks, they strengthen the muscles of the core and abdomen, and also, when performing a superset with breathable sweaters, improve posture and expand the chest.

Heavy squats are thought to have a positive effect on hormones - including growth hormone and testosterone levels in men. Helps build total muscle mass faster and increases libido.

Another useful factor in squats is the development of neuromuscular communication, as during the exercise the movement of the hip, knee and ankle joints must be coordinated.

How to squat properly?

Warming up to prepare the leg muscles and ligaments for the upcoming loads is the basic rule for squats. The first two sets of exercises should always be performed without extra weight and with arms outstretched, then one or two sets are performed with an empty barbell.

Since during squats work not only the front but also the back of the thighs, it is necessary to pay special attention to stretching the muscles of the buttocks - for this, during warm-up and squatting with arms outstretched, it is necessary to stay in the lower position, while directing the coccyx as far back as possible.

Squats - step by step technique

To learn how to squat properly, use a medium working weight and perform the exercise in 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions:

1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart

squat workout proper performance

The starting position of the classic squat is with the feet shoulder-width apart, the toes are slightly turned to the sides (about 30 ° from the center). A wide leg (called a "sumo squat") is not recommended for beginners, as they put more stress on the lower back.

2. Put the blades together

squat workout proper performance

The strap should be on your upper back with your elbows pointing down. The arms only support the barbell in a stationary position, but do not support the weight itself. The chest should be as open as possible and the shoulder blades should be brought together. If you cannot keep the barbell in this position, then its weight is too heavy.

3. Click to parallel

squat proper performance

At the bottom of the squat, the thighs should be parallel to the floor and the knees should not protrude beyond the line of the toes. Be careful not to squat too low (this will increase the load on the lower back) or not to finish the movement too high (in this case, only the front, but not the back, thighs are involved).

4. Monitor the position of the spine

At the lowest point of movement it is necessary to keep the spine in an ideal upright position - for this the gaze should be directed to a point on the floor about one meter from you. Avoid the temptation to bend your head in an attempt to control proper exercise in the mirror - this can provoke neck pain.

5. Get up at the expense of your knees.

When lifting up, the movement starts from the pelvis, only then do the knees and body straighten. A movement that begins with a knee extension is wrong and disrupts the mechanics of the exercise. You need to imagine that he is pulling you up with a rope tied to your pelvis, not concentrating on pushing the barbell with just the force of his knees.

6. Keep your abdomen tense

At the top of the movement, between repetitions, do not relax your knees and do not transfer the weight of the barbell on your socks. Stand as upright as possible, try to "stretch" upwards, tensing the abdomen and maintaining a calm breathing rhythm. If you can't do this (or your breathing is out of breath), it means that the weight of the barbell is too heavy for you.

How to improve efficiency?

In order to increase the effect of squats, in the upper part of the movement it is necessary to tense the muscles of the buttocks as much as possible - so that when you go down you can feel their participation in the work. It is also important to observe the depth of the squat, sitting not too high or too low.

На свой ред движението нагоре трябва да започне не с изправяне на гърба, а с изтласкване на тежестта поради мускулите на задната част на бедрото. За да се избегнат болки в кръста, трябва да се внимава гръбнакът да запази естествената си форма и да не се огъва при клякане.

Клякане при проблеми с коляното

Ако имате болки в коляното или гръбначния стълб, най-добрият вариант е да замените клякането с щанга с машинна преса за крака (след консултация с вашия медицински специалист, разбира се). Въпреки ползите от клякането за развитие на мускулите на краката, това упражнение може да влоши проблемите с коляното.

Имайте предвид обаче, че машините за трениране на крака не могат да заменят клека - те могат само да ги допълват. Недостатъкът на симулаторите е на първо място, че те изключват стабилизиращите мускули на тялото от движението.

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The correct squat technique begins with the ability to push the weight of the barbell up, using the strength of the muscles of the thighs and pelvis. It is also important to keep your back as straight as possible and place the barbell directly on your upper back, instead of trying to support it with your hands and wrists.

Illustrations:

  • How to squat with the right shape: The final guide,  source