Barbell Back Squat

Barbell Back Squat

The barbell back squat is one of many variations on the classic exercise, the squat, and has gained the nickname as “the king of leg moves.”

The squat has been a critical part of the bodybuilding and weight lifting regimen. Luckily, there is equipment in just about every gym to do this exercise.

Why Squat?

One of the perks of the barbell back squat is that it works just about every part of your body. It is not just a leg exercise; because you are holding the barbell on your shoulders, you are working your back, abs, shoulders, hips, legs, core, and more. Because it is a compound exercise, it can also help with performance in a wide array of sports and strengthen both individual muscles and the entire body.

Warming up for this exercise is critical. It is necessary to increase blood flow to the lower body muscles and increase range of motion to prevent injury. Knee warm-ups are also necessary because if not correctly done squats can have a negative effect on the knees. Some suggested warm-ups include jumping jacks, walking knee hugs, lunges, leg swings, and even squats without any weight.

Back Squat for Beginners

To do a barbell back squat, take the bar out of the rack by resting it on your shoulders. It should be the back of your shoulder muscles, and it is vital to keep your spine in alignment when doing this. Then, when you have the bar lifted, make sure that your feet are positioned at shoulder width while pointing your toes out. The rest from here is just a regular squat. Sit back like you are sitting in a chair, and make sure that you are getting as much depth as possible. Your weight should also be on your heels. Then, after hitting maximum depth, explode back up.

While doing this exercise, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, make sure that your hips and back aren’t moving too much, or it could work the wrong places. Also, try not to move your hips back. You should be keeping the weight on your heels, while also working to maintain balance.

The Strongest Man in the World

The barbell back squat is one of the most frequent exercises done in weight lifting competitions and by bodybuilders. It is a staple to building up a lower body and can be done strategically to build even more muscle. For instance, by doing multiple sets and increasing the weight on the barbell each time you can work to get stronger.

Currently, Andrey Malanichev, a Russian bodybuilder, holds the record for the heaviest back squat. He squatted 1,036 pounds, which is more than half a ton. This was in February of 2014, and the record has not been broken since. This set him as the leading powerlifter in the world.


The barbell back squat is one of the most universal exercises. It can be modified to work for just about anybody and is a staple to those looking to body build. The most important thing when doing this exercise is to be aware of your form. By complying to proper form and being aware of your body, you can diminish the chance of injury and get the best results.

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