Let's talk squats, one of the most used exercises within the gym! But before we tell you how to do them, we’ll tell you why you should be doing them.

What is a compound exercise?

First of all, what is a compound exercise? Chances are, whether you have heard the phrase “compound exercise” before, you have most likely performed them, whether that be during a HIIT workout or a circuit training class. In simple terms, a compound exercise is a movement that requires and activates more than one muscle group at one given time, a squat being one of them. A squat works quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, hip flexors and core.

What are the benefits of squatting?

  • Squats help build muscle.
  • Squats burn calories Fast.
  • Squats help improve flexibility
  • Squats help with mobility and balance.
  • Squats can prevent injuries.
  • Squats can maintain & improve joint health.
  • Squatting keeps bones strong.
  • Squats improve speed and ability to jump.
  • Squats improve your daily life & physical abilities.


How to perform a back squat

Prior to performing a barbell squat, we recommend completing a sufficient warm-up to prevent injury. When squatting, begin with a weight that you can control before increasing the load. Maintaining a good technique is crucial throughout a squat.

  1. Position the barbell within the squat rack, with the bar being set up slightly below your shoulders. Make sure you have enough space to take a couple of steps backward after unracking the barbell.
  2. While facing the barbell, position yourself at the center of the bar, place your hands on both sides of the bar before stepping underneath the bar, while maintaining the hand placement with a fair grip. The barbell should rest on the muscles of the upper back.
  3. Unrack the barbell, and step backward until you are not restricted by the squat rack from completing the movement, normally a couple of steps back.
  4. Maintain a tall posture, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Shoulders should be directly over hips creating a stacked position
  5. Evenly distribute your weight on your feet from toe to heel, creating a stable position.
  6. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips and brace the core, inhaling to create intra-abdominal pressure.
  7. While maintaining your alinement, begin the eccentric phase of the movement by bending your hips, knees and ankles.
  8. Lower until your legs are parallel or slightly below parallel to the floor. Keep your weight evenly distributed on your feet as you go down.
  9. Pause for a second before beginning the concentric phase.
  10. To begin the phase begin to exhale while pushing your feet into the floor to initiate standing up, aiming to generate force throughout your midfoot and heel.
  11. As you begin to stand, keep your chest high, engage your glutes, allow your knees to straighten and your hips to drive forward.
  12. At the top of the movement, you need to regain the “stacked” position with your shoulds directly over your hips.

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