Do you want to have firm thighs and buttocks or develop maximum absolute strength with the start of the anabolic process? Then you need to squat with a barbell. In this article, we will analyze the intricacies of this exercise and reveal its secrets. Even people who are completely unfamiliar with iron are sure to know the top three exercises that are basic in the world of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Deadlift, bench press and barbell squats are the "base" that allows you to achieve tremendous results in changing your body for the better.
In the entire history of sports, no one has come up with any other exercise that could have a great effect on almost all major muscle groups and many small stabilizer muscles.
There is probably no workout program that does not use this basic three. There is even a common saying among bodybuilders: "If you neglect the squat on leg day, you don't swing your legs."
Read our article on common barbell squatting mistakes
Squats are the key to strength and success in sports
The classic squat with a barbell on the shoulders is considered the best exercise for developing the muscles of the legs. The target load when performing a basic multi-joint exercise falls on:
- adductor muscles of the thigh;
- gluteal muscles;
- soleus muscles.
In addition to these muscles, stabilizers are also included in the work:
- calf muscles;
- rectus and oblique abdominal muscles (press);
- spine extensors;
- many other muscles throughout the body.
Without classic squats, it is impossible to achieve full-fledged desired results, regardless of whether a person strives for strength or beauty, what goal is pursued (to lose weight or, conversely, to gain muscle mass). Adhering to a proper diet and regularly playing sports, the program of which includes squats with weights, you can "sculpt" the ideal shape of the legs.
Correct technique for performing classic squats
The photo shows squats with a barbell - the legs are as wide as possible to pump the inner thigh People who are far from sports mistakenly believe that squats are not intricate complexity and you don't really need to know anything there: sat down, got up, sat down, got up … In fact, this is one of the hardest exercises. Some newcomers to the world of bodybuilding, having tried the squat on their own skin, fear this exercise, others hate and avoid it. Athletes know that doing classic barbell squats is far from the easiest task and negligent approach to it can injure the back, lumbar region or legs.
The squat must be performed with the utmost safety, preparedness and confidence, so the staging must be strictly followed. I would like to advise pioneers to start with regular squats without weights, and only after perfecting the skill to the ideal execution technique can you take up the weights.
Preparing for the barbell squat:
- Before performing a squat, be sure to do a warming up workout for all muscle groups.
- Install the barbell on racks 8 × 10 cm high below shoulder level (too high a position of the bar on racks is dangerous).
- During the removal, you need to "dive" behind the bar and prop it up with tense muscles of the trapezium (in no case with the neck or shoulders). It is recommended to take the bar with the grip that is most comfortable, but always symmetrically to the center, so that the weight of the bar is equally distributed on both legs. The narrow grip makes the bar easier to control.If you feel pain in your shoulders, place your arms a little wider.
- Now you can straighten up with the barbell on your shoulders and take a step back. You need to tune in to weight and control the work of the whole body.
What is the whole point of the correct technique:
- The back should be perfectly straight, slightly arched at the lower back and without a hint of strong forward bends. The shoulder blades need to be deliberately brought together, and the chest should be slightly protruded.
- The width of the legs directly affects the distribution of the load: the wider the legs, the more the inner thigh is involved, and vice versa, the narrow position of the feet emphasizes the load on the outer thigh. For classic squatting standards, the feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart, the toes are turned 30 x 45 degrees, and the knees should be "facing" the same direction as the toes.
- In no case should you slouch or lean your body forward too much. To minimize the risk of injury, the load should be distributed over the entire spine.
- The mistake of many to lower the head down when doing the exercise. The gaze should be directed straight ahead or slightly upward.
What should be the squat performance?
- The movement begins with a smooth backward feed of the pelvis - so that it looks like a person is trying to sit on an invisible pot.
- The depth of the squat can be up to parallel with the floor of the hamstring or lower. The lower the squat, the more the buttocks are involved in the work. The main thing is not to round the lower back and not to “crawl out” with the knees behind the line of the toes when squatting below parallel.
- You need to sit down slowly and get up faster. You should not relax, pause at the bottom: there should be a quick, but at the same time, smooth rise.
- Rising from the bottom point, you do not need to straighten your legs to the end. Otherwise, the load is transferred to the knee joints.
- The weight when lifting from the squat should go through the heels, not through the toes. That is, in the squat position, the tension in the heels should be greater than in other areas of the foot.
- Weighted squats are performed at a medium to slow pace. You need to take a deep breath with a held breath and gently lower down. It is correct to start the exhalation after overcoming the most difficult segment of the ascent.
- It is always worth removing the barbell with extreme caution, because the strength after performing the squat is running out. For stability, the legs can be placed in the scissors position, and not kept in one line.
Do not be intimidated by the large number of recommendations for the correct implementation of the squat, all of them are light and with regular training will be brought to automatism.
- Squats with a barbell should be performed slowly, focusing on the correct adherence to the technique: it is with a leisurely approach that you can feel all the work of the muscles and correct the direction of effort in the desired muscle groups.
- The more weight is used, the more serious protection needs to be organized. The weightlifting belt can even be used on warm-up approaches, it will not affect the efficiency of muscle pumping. For squats with weights close to your own and higher, you need to use wrist wraps to protect the knees.
- The abdominal muscles also need to be kept lightly tense. This will prevent swaying of the torso and make it easier to keep the torso in a stable position.
- Choose shoes for strength squats with a stiff sole and a small heel. Running shoes filled with helium or air will negatively affect your technique.
- In the event that there are problems with joints, ligaments or back pain worries, you cannot take squats without the prior consultation and permission of a doctor.
Exercise number 1
The benefits of barbell squats can hardly be overestimated. If earlier the exercise was used only in professional bodybuilding and powerlifting, today it is also relevant for men and women who do not associate their lives with great sports.
The classic squat, in addition to forging strong relief legs and round mouth-watering priests, also contributes to the growth of all other muscles. People who do not miss a day of legs feel confident, can withstand prolonged loads without problems during hiking and active trips to the countryside. They are always ready to achieve their goals and conquer new heights of their plans.
Barbell squat video: