The Perfect Form – Back Squat

Men's Health |

Most Common Mistakes

  • Positioning the bar too high on the back, almost on the neck.
  • Feet too close together.
  • Hips not pushed back.


Perfect It Like This

  • Position your feet just wider than your shoulders and turned slightly outwards (10-15 degrees) to ensure that during flexion the knees stay in line with the feet. Focus on putting firm pressure through your heels into the ground, poor pressure will cause the body to move forward and not in a vertical plane up and down.
  • Now place the bar over your trapezius muscle, across the back of your shoulders and not over your neck (find the prominent bony process of the shoulder blade about the length of your extended hand from the base of the skull).
  • Make sure you have a wide grip on the bar, so your elbows are flexed between 70 and 90 degrees. Keep the descent well controlled. It should take you longer than four seconds to get down, (but rise quickly). Gold standard for the flexed position is the knee bisecting the foot with the tip of the knee plum over the toes. Your back must be straight. Keeping your head up and looking straight ahead (into that mirror) will aid this.
  • As with the dead lift, make sure you have filled your lungs for the full for the squat and lift back up.

Top tip
Deep knee bending with a heavy load risks knee cartilage injury. The trick is to keep your heels flat and thighs parallel to the floor.

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