Recently, they began to say that squats with a barbell are not needed. Indeed, it’s easier to tell a beginner that his destiny is extension and bending in the simulator, and some kind of leg press, than to explain the technical nuances of this basic exercise, to systematically work on strength and flexibility, set up the technique, monitor the body, the work of the knees, legs, thighs, do not allow "pecking" the pelvis. In fact, the squat is available to everyone who has no contraindications to flexion in the knee, ankle and hip joints, and there are no contraindications to axial load on the spine. The movement is performed in all sports, and in fitness there is quite a place for a good technically correctly executed squat, and not just half-squats with a body bar.


  • 1 working muscles
  • 2 Benefits of Exercise
  • 3 Technique
    • 3.1 Performing Squats
    • 3.2 Performance Tips
  • 4 How to choose the weight
  • 5 Effect on the lower back and knees
  • 6 Squats in Smith Machine
  • 7 Squats for girls
  • 8 Types of Squats
    • 8.1 "Sumo"
    • 8.2 Front
    • 8.3 Zercher
    • 8.4 Gackenschmidt
    • 8.5 Lunge Squat
    • 8.6 Squat on one leg
  • 9 Outfit
  • 10 Contraindications

Working muscles

The load is evenly distributed between the long back muscles, quadriceps, buttocks, thigh biceps and calf. How the stabilizers work the muscles of the press, deltas, latitudinal. It is sometimes believed that long back muscles also stabilize in a squat, but the actual situation depends on the technique. If the athlete is long-legged and his thigh is also long, the natural inclination of the back forward will be compensated by the work of the long back muscles.

Benefits of exercise

For the fitness woman, the main advantage is the ability to work out maximum muscles in a minimum of time. The truth is harsh - a person who does, for example, 4 working sets of squats of 8-10 repetitions with a relatively high weight, shakes the press and goes home or will be more difficult to work than his friend, sticking out in the hall for an hour and a half, but only flexion and extension, and, at most, some bench presses with legs.

For athletes and advanced amateurs, squatting is good because:

  • Builds total muscle mass . The back also grows from a squat, it is not for nothing that experienced people will always determine the one who lies about his working weights on the Internet precisely by the form of his “pillars” (long back muscles);
  • Allows you to work harder in all sports disciplines . MMA fighters and boxers, athletes and soccer players squat with a barbell. Yes, they do not take the same weights as powerlifters, but they do this exercise to build power during the off-season. In addition, power squats are a key way to prevent injuries;
  • Changes the shape of the hips and buttocks . In the "old school" bodybuilding there is no leg training for a healthy person without squats. Lunges and platform presses - auxiliary exercises, squat - basic;
  • Serves as an indicator of overall strength . Although pure power is tested, mainly only at powerlifting competitions, it is useful to know it. And exercises like leg presses are not indicators of strength, since the muscles of the body do not work in them;
  • Improves health, including blood circulation in the pelvic organs, and increases bone strength;
  • Increases energy consumption in training, helps burn fat and build muscle

Regarding the benefits of the squat for beginners and physical education enthusiasts, opinions diverged. Objectively, a squat with minimal weights improves coordination, improves joint mobility and strengthens ligaments. It does not contribute to injury if performed smoothly and under control. Opponents of squats in beginners argue that the muscles of such people are too weak to hold weight on their backs, and to perform the movement is technically correct. In fact, it makes sense to give a short period of muscle “pumping” in the simulators before squatting, but it’s not worth it to delay it for 4-5 months, as some trainers do, so as not to put the equipment to beginners. The problem with beginners and amateurs is precisely in the absence of skill and little joint mobility. It’s easiest to get it just by squatting.

Execution technique

Beginners begin to learn the exercise from a gray to a box below the parallel of the femur to the floor. They perform movement without a barbell, with weights held at the chest, or with a bodybar on the shoulders. As soon as a person acquires the skill of a gray-haired man with a flat back, without “untwisting” the lumbar at the lower point of the exercise, and without a strong bend forward, he can begin to train a classic squat with a barbell.

Before approaching even the minimum weight you need to tune in and “scroll” the sequence of actions in the head. No need to run under the bar as quickly as possible, and remove it as horrible as possible, even if there is a turn to the projectile in the hall. Concentration in the squat is the guarantee of no injuries.

Doing squats

  1. The bar is mounted at the height of the athlete’s collarbone, or slightly lower. It is necessary to approach, in one motion stand under the bar and place it on the lower section of the trapezius muscle. In fitness, it is better to avoid squats with the bar on the top of the trapeze. They are quite traumatic for the cervical spine, and a novice athlete can not always accurately remove and put the barbell from the racks, and therefore injures the neck;
  2. The grip should be slightly wider than the shoulders, but stable, so that the hands do not slip to the pancakes. Wider grips are allowed if the mobility of the shoulder joints is not enough, but loss of balance should be avoided. The back should be tightly bent, that is, the shoulder blades are brought to the spine and lowered, but the press is tightened and compensates for the natural lordosis. Throwing the tailbone up should not be done, if such a movement is obtained naturally, you need to strain the front surfaces of the thighs and “tilt” the pelvis forward so that the pelvic bones begin to look strictly forward;
  3. The bar is level. The feet are under the bar on the same line, the bar is projected onto the middle of the arch of the foot, the knees are slightly bent. In one motion, the athlete unbends both knees and raises the bar above the racks;
  4. Then you need to pull the stomach inward to stabilize, make sure that the bar is level, and perform three steps - with the right foot back, with the left foot to the right, and the placement of the feet shoulder width or slightly wider. Socks are turned to the sides, and not forward. Do not squat with a barbell with parallel feet. If you need exactly this version of the squat, it is better to fix the shin in a special simulator and keep the weight in front of you;
  5. Further, the athlete is convinced that his back is slightly tilted forward, the shoulder blades are flattened and lowered, the press is pulled up, takes a breath, and begins to raise and bend his knees towards the socks. No pelvic movements are necessary. And even more so, one should not reach back to them, sit on an imaginary high chair, etc. The energy from bending the knees and lower legs is enough for the hip joints to work out in the plane, conceived for them by nature, and not imagined by novice bodybuilders. On the contrary, during the squat it is necessary to monitor the "rotation" of the pelvis and the inclination of the back. The first should be absent, and the second should be minimally acceptable. Only tall people with a long thigh squat in the “fold”, that is, initially with a back inclination, they have no other anatomical option;
  6. Squatting is not necessary to parallel the thigh with the floor, but until the pelvic bones go below the top of the patella. Contrary to popular belief about “squat safety in parallel to the knee”, the anterior cruciate ligament is the peak load in the parallel technique. If you sit a little lower, the load will be evenly distributed between the hip, ankle and knee joints, and the ligaments will not be affected;
  7. Once the dosad is reached, you need to powerfully push off with your feet and begin to unbend your knees and rise. The back movements in fitness on small and medium weights should not be performed. Similarly, shifting the center of gravity into socks should be avoided;
  8. Squat fast is not necessary. You should return the back to its original position and control the press before each repetition;
  9. When all repetitions are completed, you need to go to the uprights, and return the bar to them by bending both knees.

Performance Tips

  • There is no need to remove and lower the bar “into the scissors”, that is, in the lunge position. With a working weight, the athlete can swing forward or to the side, and he will fall;
  • Squat with a low barbell is allowed, but not the position “neck through the shoulder blades”. This is sometimes given to girls to "load the buttocks." Fans of buttock loading can do any tilt with a barbell or buttock bridge after squats, but breaking the shoulder joints for the sake of a ghostly shift of emphasis is not worth it. Moreover, for most people, an extremely low bar means the same significant tilt of the body forward;
  • The advice of illiterate amateurs about taking the pelvis back and observing the depths below the parallel is mutually exclusive. If a person takes something out there, he will reach the expense of only “pecking”, or in a position where the body is on his hips. Therefore, you need to clearly decide for yourself. If there are no injuries preventing the squat, it is worth squatting in depth, due to the movement of the knees and without taking the pelvis back. If they are, it is worth discussing with the coach the options for replacing the squat with another multi-joint movement for the lower body;
  • Kneeling for socks in a squat is not dangerous, or rather, it is a necessary condition for dosed for people with a long thigh. It is dangerous to squat your kneecaps straight forward with parallel feet. Socks should be deployed as the hip joint allows, all other options are not acceptable;
  • But the arrangement of the feet is wider than the anatomical width, which allows the hip joint is dangerous too. This can cause injuries to the longest healing joint, and even stretching the adductor muscles as an unpleasant supplement;
  • The squat width “for health” is determined simply. The athlete is forced to take a high jump and land at a comfortable width. Setting the legs during landing will just determine the possible version of the setting width. It is allowed to move the legs 2–3 cm outward or inward, but not “twist” them to the sides for the sake of a ghostly desire to pump up the buttocks. By the way, in addition to buttocks, a wide squat grows well the adducting thigh muscles, so lovers of large pelvis and thin legs will not get what they want here

Warm up is the most crucial moment. Just running and pedaling is the most useless way to warm up before squatting. They do cardio for no more than 5 minutes, then perform without burdening a series of buttock bridges with a support on a bench, a series of lunges from the right and left legs, and several sets of squats without weight. Then - from an empty neck they rise to working weight from approach to approach, increasing weight. The step is individual.

How to pick up weight

Some exotic methods of weight selection are not for squatting. This is not an exercise to perform "in failure", at least until a person learns to control the position of his body in any state of fatigue. Repetitions are made from 3 to 12, sometimes more, this is due to the level of the athlete and the purpose of the training.

Otherwise, observe the rules:

  1. The last 2 repetitions should be given with difficulty, but for the purpose of health-improving physical education, “labor” is not hellish back tilts forward, knees brought inward, and pelvic lifts. This is a tangible resistance of the muscles to the load, that's all;
  2. You should always start with an empty neck, then move in steps of 5 to 10 kg, to the working weight;
  3. On different days, it is possible to perform with different weights, since recovery after training is not linear;
  4. With the level of “squat my weight” for women, and “squat 1.5 my weight” for men, periodization is required, that is, cycling of light and heavy workouts, even if you squat 1 time per week

Effect on the lower back and knees

Injured athletes and people with hyperlordosis should be conscious about squat training. Many should not perform squats, at least until the moment until full recovery is achieved.

By itself, movement is not dangerous for the lower back and knees, and with weights no more than one's own, it can be performed without bowers, bandages, and a belt.

To prevent injuries, you need to monitor:

  • The work of the press . The stomach should not tumble forward and be relaxed. A push with a belt press is performed only if the athlete does strength squats, in fitness it should be avoided;
  • The initial position of the pelvis . You don’t need to stretch your buttocks up, as we often see in the photo from fitness magazines. It looks beautiful, but very traumatic for the lower back;
  • The position of the knees . They move in the plane of the foot, towards the toes, and not inward;
  • Ankle mobility . If the shin is “clogged” from walking in heels or trying to pump up the calf, you should roll it with a roller and stretch it a little before starting the squat.

Smith Machine Squats

This should be the shortest section. Smith machine with vertical racks is not intended for squats. In it you can still somehow do a bench press, lunges and a vertical bench press, but not squat. Why "> Squats for girls

Many are afraid to “swing their hips, ” but since it is not training that they decide on this matter, but nutrition, fears can be left outside the gym. Girls who eat "on weight loss" do not pump themselves an impressive mass.

Here is an example of a workout with weight loss squats, all exercises are performed for 12-15 reps, with rest strictly 45 seconds between sets:

  • Squat with a bar;
  • Romanian traction with dumbbells;
  • Hip biceps flexion;
  • Buttock bridge;
  • Crossover thighs on the buttocks crossover

Types of Squats

These varieties are performed for a deeper study of the muscles, or the study of the weaknesses of the power movement in powerlifting.


Simulated stance in sumo traction. Develops hips, buttocks leading hips.


The bar is held on the chest, a clear jar is required. Excludes tilting the housing forward.


The bar is held by bending the elbow, at the level of the waist. The movement is used to correct excessive forward bending in a classic squat with a barbell.


The bar is taken with a direct grip behind the back. Some people think that the hip and buttock biceps work better.

Lunge squat

One of the movements in the “scissors”, which corrects the imbalances of the legs, in fact, one leg is standing a little back on the toe, and the athlete simply lowers into the squat from this position.

One leg squat

The athlete stands on the box, pulls forward or simply lowers the non-supporting leg and performs the movement first with one foot, then with the second. This is necessary to correct the "difference in strength" of the legs.


For the fitness option with small weights, equipment is not needed. Sneakers with a stiff, non-springy sole are highly desirable. To do powerlifting or just a squat with significant weight weights, you need to buy weights or sneakers on a flat sole, the shoes depend on the convenience, the more vertical the shin in the squat of a particular person, and the more mobile the ankle, the less he needs shoes with heels.


Squats are contraindicated in:

  • Strong degrees of scoliosis;
  • Pinched nerve or radiculitis;
  • Joint diseases in the stage of exacerbation or pain;
  • Impaired coordination

Specific contraindications and a set of exercises should be discussed with your doctor.