How to do a Back Squat

Authored by Fitbod

About Back Squat

Sets Logged
4,944,913
Popularity Rank
19th
Difficulty
Intermediate
Quads Strength
98 mSCORE 9th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

Back Squat is one of the three Powerlifting movements, and one of the most common lower body exercises. It’s a great compound exercise that can help build strength and muscle mass in your leg, especially your quadriceps. It’s a staple in most fitness programs, and is often used as a metric for tracking lower body strength in general.

  1. Set the barbell just below shoulder height and grab ahold the barbell outside shoulder-width.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and brace your core by breathing into your stomach and flexing your abdominal muscles.
  3. Quarter squat underneath the barbell to place it on the base of your neck before lifting and stepping back and planting your feet shoulder-width apart.
  4. Keeping your heels planted firmly on the ground, descend by hinging at your hips while keeping your chest up.
  5. Your knees should track outward and slightly forward as you descend and keep your spine neutral throughout the exercise.
  6. Once your thighs have reached parallel with the floor, return back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • Weak Hip Hinge

    The hip hinge is a crucial part of the squat. Make sure you’re dropping your hips back first, and then bending your knees to drop into your squat. The same is true on the way up. Make sure you’re driving your hips forward, not just extending your legs.

  • Knees Caving In

    Always make sure that your knees are tracking over your toes. Allowing your knees to cave inward places a ton of stress on them, and increases your risk of injury. If you're struggling with your knees caving in, focus on keeping your weight evenly distributed throughout your foot.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    35
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    45
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    40
    lbs
    50
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    55
    lbs
    70
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Sets & Reps