how to do it, benefits and mistakes not to be made

Lo squat it’s an exercise multi-articular, fundamental In the powerliftingspecifically for the enhancement of lower limbs and of back.

Typically done with i free weightsthe squat in its “essential” form (backi.e. with the overload positioned between the upper back and shoulders) involves the use of balance wheel Olympic and specific discs (internal diameter 52 mm and external diameter 450 mm).

After the deadlift, the squat is the best exercise PERFORMANCESor the one that allows you to lift the greatest possible weight.

The squat is a movement of squatwhich combines thigh and leg extension – in conjunction with plantar flexion and trunk stabilization. Obviously on a technical and functional level, the matter is much more complicated than that.

The squat therefore recruits the entire body muscles, even if in different percentages.

Gluteus maximus e quadriceps release most of the energy of the lower limbs. THE hamstrings have the important task of stabilize the knee. The abductors, adductors and calves participate in the push.

With regard to the back muscles, a good involvement of the muscles is appreciated erectors from the colonnaof the square of the loins – a lot less compared to the deadlift.

The whole wall abdominali big muscles from the back (dorsal, round) and the trapeze contribute to the compactness of the trunk and support movement.

In the bodybuildingthe squat plays a very important role in the development of forza; however, it is not considered “really” fundamental because even those who are not able to do it can still train and obtain excellent results.

Typically, the squat is replaced by the use of leg press at high loads.

Types of squats and the differences

Numerous variations derive from the basic squat, sometimes considered almost different exercises.

Let’s see what the various types of squats are:

  • Front squat: in which the barbell is placed anteriorly, approximately at the height of the collarbones – resting on the anterior deltoids;
  • Goblet squat: performed with a kettlebell held in front of the chest;
  • Squat con Safety Bar: it is a particular barbell equipped with two perpendicular bars which, coming out laterally with respect to the head, allow a more comfortable grip (forward, in front of the chest) compared to the traditional one. It is designed for people with poor shoulder mobility;
  • Sumo squat: provides for a greater spread of the legs – similar to that of the homonymous deadlift;
  • Sissy squat: usually performed with the body free, it is an exercise with questionable joint safety for the knees. It involves squatting by unbalancing the torso backwards as much as possible, and loading entirely on the quadriceps;
  • Squat al multipower: it should be superimposable to those performed with a barbell but, on a biomechanical level, it is not. The balance wheel is bound by the guides to a perfectly vertical stroke, which does not occur in the classic version;
  • Hack squat: performed on the specific machine of the same name;
  • Bulgarian squat: also called Bulgarian lunge, it is a version performed one-leg, with the passive leg resting behind on a riser;
  • Jump squat: it is a squat with a final leap; to be performed exclusively with low loads, it is not the best for those with back problems.

How to perform the barbell squat

Attention! The squat is a highly technical exercise, to be learned with caution and, in principle, with low loads. Don’t take up the squat without a good instructor.

Nonetheless, to perform it it is essential to enjoy the mobility articulate sufficient at the level of pelvis and some anklesas well as a good one stability of the knee.

However, it must be specified that, due to its nature, the squat is perhaps the best exercise subjective known to date.

Below we will try to summarize the fundamental steps, suggesting aexecution at least safe.

  1. Wear the belt to improve the compactness and stability of the core, and choose a couple of suitable footwear – alternatively, go barefoot (if you can);
  2. To assume standing in front of the balance wheel, which is itself positioned at the right height on the rack latches;
  3. Load up the balance wheel at the shoulder blades (more precisely, on the spines of the same) and challenge it with hands prone to one greater width with respect to the margin of deltoids;

Use: the height of the barbell in relation to the shoulders modifies the execution of the squat. The lower we place it, the more shoulder mobility is needed, the more it will be possible to flex the torso forward and push from the glute while also pulling from the back. The higher we place it, the less shoulder mobility is required, the less the bust bends forward, with less engagement of the back and gluteus, to the advantage instead of the quadriceps.

  1. Con i feet together, push on the legs and release it from the fasteners. Take a couple of steps back;
  2. With the knees extended, spread apart the legs (more or less) as much as the pelvis e wheel externally i feet about 10°. The head is in line with the body and will never look too far up;
  3. I was brought the shoulders (the shoulder blades are also slightly depressed), projecting the chest slightly upwards. The stretch lumbar it is well balancei buttocks in voltage and, consequently, the pelvis rotated slightly forward. Be careful not to accentuate the anteversion movement too much, by throwing your butt out before squatting; it is a useless movement;
  4. inspire deeply to increase the compactness and stability of the core;
  5. Start the descent flexing the kneesil pelvis and the ankle at the same time;
  6. Lo squat “entire” involves your butt and quads going down beyond il parallel – the imaginary line that sees the femurs parallel to the floor. The head continues to look forward. Pay attention to non bouncing on the knees in full squat;

Use: l’breadth del range of motion (ROM) of the squat is extremely subjective. For some it is difficult just to cross the parallel, while others (thanks to greater mobility) are almost able to “sit on the ground”;

Did you know that… many people limit the ROM of the squat because, at some point (beyond parallel), the pelvis rotates in behind. This “seems” to lead to a partial loss of lumbar lordosis. Actually, at this level (normally) non constitutes a problem. Different it would be if we lost the lumbar curve in the first half of the ROM or on the parallel;

  1. Then start the ascenti.e. the phase active. Push perceiving a greater interest in the section of the heel and ofexternal of the foot (indicating strong recruitment of the buttocks);

Use: the buttock is the main protagonist from the “hole” to the parallel. Beyond this limit, the quadriceps acquires greater importance.

Did you know that… lo sticking point of the squat is most often located just above parallel, not below. Nonetheless, most people tend to shorten the ROM of the down squat, out of fear of “not making it.” For the squat to be valid, on the other hand, it is essential that the parallel is overcome. This means that, on balance, almost everyone slows down and reverses the execution at the most critical moment, i.e. the one in which one is unable to maintain an adequate speed.

  1. The ascent must see aextension uniform from the three joints – even if the focus should be placed above all on the pelvis. Pay attention to nonwaking“, or rather not to raise the butt first and then the back. Especially with heavy loads, start to exhale not before second half from the ascent. The rep ends with the coxo-femorals and knees extended;

Watch the video

Focus on: leg width and foot spread, going beyond the parallel (without the need to go completely down into the pit), slight anteversion of the pelvis and back supported but not excessively hyperextended, head straight.

Benefits of the barbell squat

Performed correctly, the barbell squat will increase your strength forza and thehypertrophy of a wide range of muscles; in particular, thighs e buttocks.

Often, inserting the barbell squat in the file of a subject who has never practiced it, we witness the improvement of loads from other exercises.

However, despite “popular” opinion, the squat is a highly effective exercise functionalis protective for the back of the healthy subject.

Disadvantages of the barbell squat

The barbell squat – especially ad other percentages on the ceiling – non And suited to people suffering from dysmorphic serious to back (scoliosis, flattening of curves etc.) o degenerations (symptomatic or critically placed protrusions, degenerative joint disease, knee or coxofemoral impairment, etc.), or problems with Also o alle knees However, it should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Also, the traditional barbell back squat can be problematic for those complaining of ankle problems shoulders and you have wrists.

Mistakes to avoid in the barbell squat

We have already specified in the paragraph dedicated to the technique the mistakes not to be made. We will summarize the most important below:

  • Placing the balance wheel too high or too low on the stops;
  • Positioning the barbell off balance, too low or too high, or gripping it badly;
  • Starting with the legs too wide apart or narrow, or with the feet too wide or too narrow;
  • Inhaling insufficiently;
  • Hyper-extend the cervical;
  • Absence of adduction or scapular depression;
  • Pelvis not activated and lumbar spine not supported;
  • Knees that go beyond the feet, or that fall into valgus or varus.


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