How To Barbell Back Squat Technique Video Tutorial

Squats - you either love them or you hate them, and even if you love them, there will be a part of your workout while you are doing them when you start hating them, but because you love them and know the benefits of them, there no is doubt that you will do them again on your next leg day!

The history of the squat:
Unsurprisingly, the squat has been around for many years due to our own body movements when we bend down. Don’t believe me? Think of the Asian Squat ( However, in bodybuilding terms, In the early 1900’s the lift we know today 'the barbell back squat' was called the ‘deep knee bend'. The way it was performed was on the toes with the heels together. Lightweights were used and lifters would squat on their toes for repititions. During that time, as squat racks had not been invented, only lightweights were used as there was no way to hoist heavy weights onto your back.

Around World War I time, many lifters in Europe had started performing the squat, as we know it today, as a competitive lift. The first time the squat was used in a weight lifting competition was in 1919 Germany when Carl Moerke defeated Hermann Goerner in one-on-one contest by squatting 240 kg or 529 lbs.

The benefits of the squat (these are just a few):

  • Targets a large range of muscles - Buttocks (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius), Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Hip Flexors, Calves and Adductors.
  • Works on your core
  • Great for posture 
  • Great for building a solid foundation for every day movements including walking, climbing stairs, sitting up and down, carrying heavy loads and so on.
  • Decrease your risk of injury
  • Includes targeting one of the biggest muscles in your body

How to do the squat?
The squat can be done with or without a weight.
- Start in a standing position with your legs shoulder width apart.
- Keeping your chest up, your core (abs) engaged, slowly lower your body into a seated position whilst pushing your hips back until the top part of your legs (quadriceps & hamstrings) are parallel to the ground.
- Ensure your weight is shifted onto your heels
- In your seated position, squeeze your buttocks (Glutes) together and stand back up slowly whilst pushing your knees out and keeping your chest up at all times.

For breathing, we normally advise to take a deep breath and hold it on the way down, then breathe out as you come up.

Check out our How-To squat video with tips and pointers with Marshall & Jasmine!