How to Do a Proper Back Squat





Introduction: How to Do a Proper Back Squat

To perfect a back squat you must start with the least amount of weight as possible. If you stack on too much weight, you are likely to hurt yourself and then you really want to doing any working out.

In my Instructables I will only be showing you the "form" of a back squat therefore, I will not be using any weight. If you are struggling with your back squat technique or if you are trying a back squat for the first time I suggest you start off using no weight. If you have a broomstick or a plastic pole around the house that would be the perfect for practicing your back squat.

Once you have practiced and mastered the technique for a back squat, you can start to add weight. Bt, be sure to always wear a weight belt and to have a spotter behind you to prevent injuries.

To do a proper back squat you only need one thing:

- a wooden pole (a plastic pole, or a broomstick can work as well)

Step 1: Feet Position

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- If you are right footed, place your right foot slightly in front of your left foot ( See Picture #2 for correct stance)

- If you are left footed, place your left foot slightly in front of your right foot. (See Picture #3 for correct stance)

- Do not stand with your feet pointing out, a.k.a "duck-footed."  (See Picture #3 for incorrect stance)

Step 2: Bar Placement

Place the broomstick on the top of your shoulder blades.

- To prevent injury, do not place the stick on the top of your spine. (See Picture #2 for incorrect form)

In this same step, place your hands next to your shoulders.

- Wrap your numbs around the stick, but do no put any pressure on your back. You do not want to be forcing the stick down onto your back.


Step 3: Ready Position

Slightly bend your knees.
This will simultaneously put your rear down. Before you lower down into your back squat your body should look exactly like this step

Step 4: Proper Squat

Keeping your back straight and your slightly up (your vocal point should be slightly high), lower your rear like you are going to sit in a chair. This step is the most important because you cannot let your upper body go past your knees.( See Picture #2 for incorrect form)



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    18 Discussions

    Drew91 is right. That's not correct form for a lowbar or a high bar squat. Made no mention of depth. The form alone will limit the weight people can handle but get too ambitious and you're guaranteed to jack your body. If your form sucks try front squats. You'll be less likely to hurt yourself.

    Thanks for these tips. I have been doing this with weights. The first time I hurt the back of my neck (spine....) with a weighted bar. To avoid the problem, I wrapped a layer of foam around the bar.... but if you do not need a weighted bar at all, I can use a broomstick and just do more reps. If you are seriously out of shape, do 20 squats in the evening before a shower and bed, and I guarantee that you will have a good night's sleep :D

    1 reply

    20 squats - 2 sets of 10 or 4 sets of 5 if you are just starting out. If you are a couch potato like me do NOT go over the top on the first sets. Less is more, otherwise, you will ache for a week !!! Go slow, go steady, note your progress. If you are doing this to lose weight, reality check: It took you years to get to your current size, there is no miracle exercise or diet to make you lose that in a week. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Note your exercises, your reps, your sets. Go slow, increase step by step.

    my rowing coach taught me this method, he called the first picture "ducks arse" i havent a clue why. Needless to say it helped me greatly

    There are two many bits of bad advice to give a good rating.
    -Putting one foot infront of another is a pointless move that will cause a slight imbalance.
    -Your knees are not supposed to go in. By not having your feet "Duck footed", you run a large risk of injuring yourself, and it also prevents you from getting proper depth.
    - Your wrists should be straight, not bent when holding the bar on your back.
    - The squat depth demonstrated here WILL cause knee injuries if practiced regularly. A proper squat is a little bit below parallel. Don't believe me? Watch an Olympic squatter.

    4 replies

    Drew91 is correct! Your squat depth plus foot, hand, bar, and back positions are all wrong. If you follow this form with weight, you will injure yourself. Please read "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe.

    This'll help til ya buy the book,

    Completely agree. I'm a certified personal fitness trainer and the instructions the original poster gave are not an example of good technique, but instead a recipe for disaster.

    Drew91, your instructions, however, are perfect. Thanks for the correction.

    Here is a demonstration of the perfect squat, by chad smith.

    great demonstration of good from.. but maybe add a few variations like wide stance or half squats :)

    there is a ledge lower down(maybe 4 inches) that your shoulder muscles create. You can rest the bar there if your using more than a practice implement

    Also, you forgot to inform that proper *hard sole* shoes should be used. *No* running shoes. I personally lift in wrestling shoes. Traditional Chuck Taylor Converse as good as well.

    1 reply

    Also a great piece of advice. My switch from running shoes to proper weightlifting shoes has made a noticeable difference.

    at this point you really want to keep your chest up, keep your knees from going over or past your toes, and go down to the point where the top of your thighs are parallel to the ground

    besides that, you have really good technique

    Im doing Crossfit now and we work so much on squatting and this is spot on! Great form!

    Good to learn proper for for this type of thing. Thanks!