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Back Squat

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The Barbell Back Squat is one of the most powerful compound exercises your body can perform. It will strengthen your quadriceps, core, glutes, and torso.

How to do a Back Squat

Start with a barbell racked with the weight of your choice on the squat rack.

Stand in the middle of the rack and walk towards the bar. Step under it, and then position the back of your shoulders and upper back onto the middle of the bar. Use a wide grip to grasp the bar on either side of your torso.

The barbell should not be resting on the back of your neck. Take one foot and step back while the other foot remains positioned under the bar. Press your body upwards to raise the barbell off of the rack and step your forward foot backward.

In a controlled manner, walk back 1-2 steps until your body and the barbell are far enough back from the rack to squat freely. Position your feet just outside the width of your shoulders with an outwards 45-degree angle.

Keep your head and torso upright and keeping your feet flat. Inhale and slowly lower your hips down until your thighs just break parallel with the ground. Pause for a moment at the bottom, and then exhale and power through your heels, raising the weight upwards until your entire torso is erect and your legs have returned to their extended standing position. Your legs and your entire upper body should move in unison in an upwards motion.

When finished with your set, walk forwards to the rack and return the barbell to its original position with one foot extended in front of the other.

Back Squat Video Demonstration

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on