I wrote a poem: “I hate squats. I love squats. I hate squats. I love squats. I hate squats, therefore MOAR squats. I love squats, therefore MOAR squats. MOAR squats.” By Donner Schwanze
If Dead Lifts are the King of all lifts, squats are the Duke. Always ready to fight for or against the throne. There is nothing quite like Squats for your lower body power train. Do them right, and they will keep your hips, knees, and back strong for life. Do them wrong, and they can fuck up your hips, knees, and back for life.
Of all the core lifts, squats are the only one that explicitly require the power rack. Set your hooks at just below shoulder height. Set your safety bars at just above knee height or mid thigh. Get up under the bar, and before you even touch it to your shoulders, you should be preparing your body for the lift. Pinch your shoulders back and tilt your neck back. This will create a nice natural pad out of your traps. Your back should be flexed back into a solid platform. Feet should be outside of your shoulder sockets and pointed outward. Hands as near to your shoulders as you can comfortably fit them.
Now lift the bar. Take 2 steps back, lift your eyes unto the heavens, and begin to squat down. Focus on keeping your back flexed backwards, chest up. Go all the way down. Bottom out. The minimum standard is a parallel line between your ass and knees to the floor, but it is too easy to lie to yourself about how deep this is when you find yourself under the weight. So just develop the habit of bottoming out.
Now push. Push your ankles through the floor, driving your hips forward. Keep your back flexed, your chest up, and your eyes upon the heavens. Once you complete your set, walk forward and rack the weight.
This week’s motivational song is Beast from the Southpaw sound track.