The Ultimate Guide to Barbell Squats: Everything You Need to Know

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If you’re looking to add some serious size and strength to your lower body, barbell squats are the way to go. This article will teach you everything you need to know about this powerful exercise, from how to perform it correctly, to the proper way to progress and increase weight over time. So whether you’re a beginner just starting, or an experienced lifter looking for tips on how to take your squats to the next level, read on!

How to Perform Barbell Squats

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Barbell squats are a compound exercise, meaning they work for multiple muscle groups at once. The main muscles worked are the quadriceps (front of the thighs), hamstrings (back of the thighs), and glutes (buttocks). To perform a barbell squat correctly, follow these steps:

– Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and the barbell positioned across your upper back (not your neck).

– Brace your core, and send your hips back as you begin to lower down into a squat.

– Keep your chest up and knees out as you descend. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or as low as you can comfortably go.

– From the bottom position, drive through your heels to return to standing.

Barbell squatting is a fundamental movement that every lifter should master. Not only will it help you build strength and size in your lower body, but it will also carry over to other exercises and activities. For example, barbell squats will improve your deadlift, because both exercises require you to drive through your heels and use your hips and glutes to extend the hips.

Benefits of Barbell Squats

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There are many benefits to barbell squatting, including:

– Increased muscle size and strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core

– Improved mobility and range of motion in the hips and knees

– Increased calorie burn and fat loss

How to Progress With Barbell Squats

One of the great things about barbell squats is that they can be scaled to any level – from beginner to advanced. If you’re just starting, you can begin by squatting with just the barbell (no additional weight). As you get stronger, you can add weight in the form of plates, or barbells.

To make barbell squats more challenging, you can also try:

– Adding a box or bench behind you to squat to – will help you ensure that you’re squatting low enough.

– Wearing a weightlifting belt – will help you keep your spine stable and protect your lower back.

– Holding the barbell in a front rack position – will place more emphasis on your quads.

– Adding bands or chains to the barbell – will make the exercise more difficult as you descend, and will force your muscles to work harder to generate power on the way up.

– Doing barbell squats with a narrower stance – will place more emphasis on your glutes and hamstrings.

– Doing barbell squats with a wider stance – will place more emphasis on your quadriceps.

No matter what your goals are, barbell squats can help you achieve them. So if you’re looking to build strength, size, and power in your lower body, start incorporating this exercise into your training routine today!

No matter what your fitness level, barbell squats are a great exercise to add to your workout routine. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be sure to master the proper form and technique and get the most out of this powerful movement. So what are you waiting for? Get squatting!

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this essential movement!


Barbell squats are a great exercise for overall strength and muscle growth. They’re also highly scalable, so they can be adapted to any fitness level. If you want to improve your lower body strength and size, barbell squats should be a part of your workout routine. Thanks for reading!

Did you find this article helpful? If so, please share it with your friends! And if you have any questions or tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Happy lifting!

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