When I started my muscle-building journey, I really had no idea what exercises were important (let alone how to properly squat).
I actually worked out with one of my close friends in high school who was on the football team and in most cases, I just did what he did.
Little did I know… the barbell squat is a powerful exercise.
Unlike what most noobs think, it’s not just a general lift to work your legs.
In fact, some of the greatest strength-training coaches in the world swear by the squat as the single most important lift to include in your program.
Think about it.
There’s a reason powerlifting competitions include the squat instead of… curls.
If You’re a Guy, it’s a Good Start to Strength and Size
For guys, the squat is one of the best movements to pack on solid muscle meat and improve overall strength so you not only look stronger, but are stronger.
And it’s been proven over and over again that one of the most reliable indicators of overall strength is the ability to squat.
Plus, do you want to be this guy?
Granted, you don’t really need to squat forever.
I highly recommend that every single noob start their muscle-building journey with a program that includes squats, but as your goals change, excessive leg development might not make sense anymore.
I know they didn’t for me, that’s why I eventually dropped them from my routine as my goals changed.
If You’re a Girl, it’s the Ultimate Ass-Shaper
Have you ever seen another chick who’s really thin, but has an ass flatter than a fast food burger patty?
It’s most likely because she didn’t do her squats.
For gals, you’ll also build great strength, but it really forms and lifts that butt into something that will make all your retail store co-workers jealous.
I Thought about Creating My Own “How to Properly Squat” Tutorial For You
It seems like the logical next step for any fitness blogger or podcaster is to create a series of training videos.
Each would be me, filming myself, doing exercises.
Because… why the hell not, right?
But it’s Been Done Hundreds of Times
After thinking about it for awhile, I came to the realization that it would be completely moronic for me to put out my own squat tutorial.
I could log onto the internet, bang my head off the keyboard, and return at least a dozen vids that would do a much better job at explaining the mechanics of the squat than I could.
Plus, the coaches, experts, and personal trainers in those videos have decades more experience than me in explaining these concepts… why try to reinvent the wheel?
Instead I Decided to Compile a List of Quality Squat Videos
Sometimes the service isn’t in the creation, but instead in the elbow grease.
I decided I would comb through a few hundred online tutorials explaining what they consider to be perfect squat form and create a giant list.
This way, I’d still be able to provide a valuable resource to those seeking to learn how to perform the exercise safely.
Finding You “Quality” Videos was Difficult
It’s not until you visit the landfill that you realize just how much garbage there actually is.
I mean, yea, you can go to YouTube or Vimeo and do a basic search for “how to squat” and at least find a few solid lessons.
Alternatively, the others have a lot to be desired.
I Started with about 300 Videos
I went to YouTube, punched in “how to barbell squat”, and let the results roll into my browser.
Of course, my results needed a little refining considering many of them were just general information on the importance of the squat and how to prevent mistakes…
…but what I really wanted were step-by-step tutorials on the proper way to do a squat.
Potato Quality Videos were Cut
Sorry to whomever made those vids, but even a standard smartphone camera can film a decent three to four minute clip.
Seriously, the pixelation …it’s like these videos were hosted by anonymous murder witnesses on dateline.
And I Cut All the Videos with Just… Poor Advice
By “poor advice”, I mean any tips or instructions given that are either misleading or dangerous.
Believe it or not, most people with a video camera don’t actually know how to properly do squats.
For Example, Most People Don’t Address Depth
Depending on your goals and how much leg development you want to receive, the depth you reach during the squat will make a big difference.
1. Quarter Squats
This is when there’s barely a slight angle in the knee and you drop less than a foot.
If your goal is to see little to no leg development and you want to just pack on a bunch of plates to show off, this is the depth for you.
Seriously, there’s almost no reason for you to attempt a squat if you’re just going to drop a quarter of the distance (just ask this guy…)
2. Half Squats
This is when you squat down somewhere between quarter depth and parallel.
I know I’m going to get a lot of shit for this, but I believe in some cases, half squats are acceptable.
At one point, I was having pain in my quadriceps tendons (right about the knee) and I had to see a sports physician because of it.
He not only worked out the pain in my tendons, but helped me learn how to properly do a squat.
During my recovery phase, he encouraged me to perform half squats to continue building my quads until I could squat lower without pain.
Expect this depth to develop your quads, but almost completely neglect your hamstrings and glutes.
3. Parallel Depth
This is when your hip joint is in line with your knee joint and is considered the safest depth to achieve.
The reason is because anything higher neglects full leg development (i.e., hamstrings and glutes) and as you progress and lift heavier, you’re more prone to injury when it’s up to your quads to handle the load on their own.
That’s why for full leg development and safety with heavier weights, hitting parallel depth is best.
4. Full Depth (Ass to Grass)
This is simply dropping your ass as low as you can (i.e., below parallel) before attempting to ascend.
For the average lifter, this is unnecessary, but for aspiring powerlifters, this depth may be a requirement in certain competing federations.
Even more leg activation takes place at the very bottom, but again… not necessary for the average lifter.
Then There’s Bar Placement
In most cases, the high bar position was assumed since they encouraged the viewer to set the bar on their traps.
One chick even had the bar resting on her neck (shudder).
But again, this subtle difference in bar placement leads me to another point.
A. Place the Bar on Your Traps for a High Bar Squat
This is the most commonly-accepted form of squatting and it’s probably because the placement doesn’t require a lot of explanation or coaching to get right.
You simply find the meaty part of your traps and dig the bar in.
B. Place the Bar Across the Deltoids for a Low Bar Squat
The only set-up difference between a high and low bar squat is that the bar is lower on the back.
You can actually create this little “shelf” that holds the bar in place using your upper back muscles for low bar placements.
The low bar set-up allows you to move a little more weight and requires you to lean forward at the hips a little more during the entire movement, but in general it’s a matter of preference.
When I was squatting consistently, I tried transitioning to low bar only because my legs are freakishly long and I have a natural tendency to shift the weight over my knees.
The low bar set-up helps me keep the weight centered over my heels and push the weight more efficiently.
With All That Being Said, Here is the List…
These are honest videos that actually attempt to break down how to properly squat high bar in a simple and accurate way.
Watching all those videos gave me good perspective on form, placement, and how everyone’s explanations could be so different, but also very true to the lift.
Props to anyone who made it on the list.
- How To: Deep Barbell Back Squat – ScottHermanFitness
- How to Squat Properly (MAJOR FORM FIX!) – ATHLEAN-X
- How to Perform the Squat – Proper Squats Form & Technique – Buff Dudes
- How To Squat With Proper Form – CanditoTrainingHQ
- How to Properly High Bar Squat (Olympic Style) – OmarIsuf
- Untamed Strength: “How To” SQUAT – High bar/Low bar – Alan Thrall
- How to: Back Squat – Peachy Peach
- How to Do a Squat | Gym Workout – Howcast
- The Squat: High Bar and Low Bar Back Squat – Technique WOD – Barbell Shrugged
- Lower Body Exercises : How to Do Squats Without Hurting Your Knees & Lower Back – expertvillage
- How to Do Barbell Full Squats – LIVESTRONG.COM
- How to set up approach the squat rack – O.B. Training & Sports Performance
- HOW TO SQUAT FOR BODYBUILDING – Damien Patrick
- Back Squat Bar Placement – GPP Fitness
- CrossFit Training How To Perform a High Bar and Low Bar Back Squat, la – Bob Weeks
- How to Do Deep Squats – LIVESTRONG.COM
- Back Squat Tutorial – How to Set up and perform a good rep – Speed Power Fitness
- HOW TO SQUAT FOR SIZE ft. Bradley Martyn – Barbell Brigade
- How to Back Squat – Arch City Fitness – CrossFit Xtra Mile–Central
- How to do a Back Squat – VENT Fitness Friday | Clifton Park, NY – VENTfitness
- Personal Training Workout Tips & Drills : How to do Squats – expertvillage
- How To Squat – Form Tutorial – jhashey
- How to Squat Correctly: Foot Position – Jump Science
- How to Do a High Bar Back Squat – Criticalbench
- How to: Barbell Back Squat – Dmitry Fedorishchev
- CrossFit High Bar Back Squat – Proper execution and How To – Chrono Crossfit
- Back Squat – How to Demonstration – Fitness By Travis
- Mass Nutrition – How to perform the back squat correctly – massnutritionoz
- Mark Rippetoe: Intro to the Squat – Tim Donahey
- How To Squat With Proper Form The True Power Squat – Aaron Lipsey
- How to Squat – Full Squat vs Parallel Squat – LegendaryStrength
- How to Squat: Squat Form and Common Mistakes – Sebastian Mok
- How to Squat Correctly (3 Rules for Proper Squat Form & Technique) – physicaltherapyvideo
- LSU Tigers Coach Tom Moffitt Back Squat Football Workout – STACK Football
- CrossFit Back Squat – Northstate CrossFit – Northstate CrossFit
- How To Squat Correctly: Learn From a Strength Coach – Premier Fitness Systems
- Squat Instructional Video – In The Gym With Team MassiveJoes – MassiveJoes.com How to Back Squat – MassiveJoes.com
- Chris Leathers of YWF shows how to do a barbell back squat. Emmit Peisert of Marian Central does the – Shaw Admin
- Fitness Tips with Chrissy Zmijewski: The Barbell Squat – Chrissy Zmijewski
- Back squats – LIVESTRONG.COM
- EPIQ – Back Squats with Amelia Boone #WorkoutWednesday – EPIQ
- How to Perform a Barbell Squat – JuggernautFitnessTV
How Can I Make this List Better For You?
Is there a video missing that you think I should include?
Comment and let me know.
I want this list to be a good resource for all noobs to reference when trying to locate “quality” videos on proper squat form.
However, I Wanted to Offer You More
Again, I didn’t want to make a generic “how to squat” tutorial because everyone and their mother already did it.
Also, forming this list and just saying “Here you go!” doesn’t seem very helpful either.
See, I know exactly how you feel.
When I first started barbell training, I had no idea how to do any of these exercises and I thought I was going to injure myself every day.
That was until I discovered the mental and physical cues that completely changed my mindset about the exercise.
In a matter of weeks, my squat numbers were climbing through the roof!
I Created a “Cheat Sheet” So You Don’t Waste Time Trying to Master the Squat
Yea, I formed a cool video list for you, but do you really want to go through each one and try to find all the similarities?
I wouldn’t… even though I did it already.
That’s why I thought I would compile a list of the most common and effective squat cues used to trigger the correct motor patterns necessary for squatting like a pro.
How to Get it for Free
And get this… I don’t even want your email address for it.
Just click that link and there you go.
Inside this report, you’ll find:
- The powerful techniques used to launch your ass out of the bottom position like a rocket.
- Answers to grip width, stance, and back arching so you’re never confused when you approach the bar.
- The single most important tip promoted by dozens of strength coaches and personal trainers so you can completely lock into the squat stance perfectly each time.
- And a bunch of other stuff…
Unless someone else decided to waste an entire Saturday watching numerous videos explaining how to squat… you’re not going to find this anywhere else.
You’ll be saving yourself time and injury. Your body will thank you.
I plan on creating other things like this in the future, so keep a lookout!
To your gains,
P.S. Making another squat video my subscribers to watch just didn’t sound like a good idea.
That’s why I formed list some of the best squat tutorials I found, watched them, and summarized their best points.
And if you want more information on what this report contains, check this out.