Pre-Barbell Training: The Squat Part 1

Posted: January 7, 2014 in My Take
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Probably the king of all exercises, the Squat!  Now,  before putting the bar on your back and throwing some plates on there I will give you a HUGE list of all the muscles used in the Squat…. scratch that, its too many muscles. The point is, the squat is a total body movement that involves your core, lower and upper extremities. The benefits of doing this exercise outweigh the negative affects of a possible injury. Which would only occur if improper form is being used.

This first thing you need to acknowledge as a beginner is that there is more than one way to squat. There are low bar squats, high bar squat, front squats, zercher squats, frankenstain squats, pause squats, jumping squats, … the list can go on, I am sure I am missing something. Now there are differences between all of these squats in regards to how your body looks and moves while it is being performed. But that’s a topic for another article, that frankly would take me months to write. However, none of these squats matter if you cannot do a bodyweight squat.

For now you can use this video as a guide,  however if you notice her torso leans forwards versus being upright. IMO you should have your torso as upright as possible with a neutral spine. As you do your own research you will learn the difference between a high bar squat and low bar squat. I would suggest reading Starting Strength or checking out this cool article here:

Now if you are having difficulty doing a body weight squat, you will need to do other stretches and exercise to help. Here are some of the ones that helped me.

Equipment you are going to need to do these exercises are dumbbell, resistance band, loop bands.

Squat Stretch –
Side Abduction –
Glute Bridge –
Monster Walks –
Goblet Squats – – this is something you can add later on, but I recommend everyone try it.

These exercise are a great way to get started doing the squat if you cannot do a full squat yet or feel like you are tight and not mobile or flexible enough.  Also Bret Contreras’ article “Dispelling the Glute Myth” is an excellent read and I suggest reading his book Strong Curves.

Other things that can help your squat are foam rolling and stretching. Which I will touch on later in the second part of this post. That is all for now.

  1. nbuchan says:

    Goblet squats are a great way to develop squat mechanics for both beginners and more experienced lifters who’s squat mechanics need ‘cleaning up’…basically everyone should do them in my opinion!

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