Weight Lifting - Squats


Squats are the single most important exercise in weight lifting. Squats affect major parts of your body. They are NOT back exercises. Keep in mind that when you are about to propel yourself up from the bottom position, the power comes from your hips. Squats provide the foundation for building strength.


Because they are so important and you will be carrying heavy weights, it is imperative that you maintain proper former and use correct technique at all times. It is easy to get hurt if you don't do squats properly.


Some people think that squats are bad for their knees. This is an example of the danger of bad form. If people got knee trouble from squatting, they were probably not doing them correctly. If done right, squats will make the muscles and tendons around your knees stronger.


Start with the empty bar and do 5 sets of 5. Always start with a few warm-up sets and proceed to your workout weight and do 5 sets at that weight. You will get strong quickly and will be able to add weight every week or every workout. Don't try to progress too quickly.


Many people have told me that when they get up to a pretty heavy weight, they start losing weight quickly around their mid-section. This is an added bonus if it happens for you.


  • Rule No. 1 - do not squat on a Smith machine. They do not allow for the proper movement and will not give you good results.
  • The barbell should be on a weight rack so that is about mid chest height. You should walk forward to the bar, bend down under it and place it on your traps (trapezius muscles behind your neck). Hold the bar at a comfortable width. Place your fingers around the bar, but keep your thumb in the back for support.
  • Take a step back from the rack. Make sure your toes and knees are pointed forward. Slowly squat down so that your butt is a little lower than your knee level.
  • Keep your head bent with a gaze that would let you see your knees in a mirror. Don't arch your neck to look up.
  • Breathe before you start the motion and hold until back to the top.
  • At the bottom of the motion, focus on your hips as the central point.Push your hips forward and it will drive your body up.
  • You can perform sets of 5. Squats also work well as high reps for example doing 20 or 30 in a single set.
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