The barbell squat is the first exercise in the Beginner Strength Training Full body Workout. In order to progress and avoid injuries, it is imperative that you perform the exercise with correct technique. What the exercise will give you is not big legs, but overall strength throughout the body. To get big legs from squats you have to squat very heavy.
[In the video I did not take the bar from a squat rack, but you should not do it like me. Instead, start the exercise properly from a squat rack.]
Barbell Squat – The Exercise
First – start your squats by taking the bar from a power rack. Grab the bar with both hands. Position it on top of your squeezed upper back muscles and not on your neck. Make sure you have an arch in your lower back at all times.
This is what prevents you from hurting your back. At the same time, this will make your lower back strong so you won’t hurt yourself at home trying to move the couch.
Arch in the Lower Back For Safe Squatting
To understand what I mean by an arch in the lower back, try this. Lie on the floor face down, with your arms in front of your body. Now try to lift your arms and your legs off the ground at the same time. This is an exercise called superman. See what happens with your lower back and hold it the same way when you squat.
Barbell Squat – The Basic Movement
Your heels should be approximately shoulder width apart. Your toes will point a bit out. Now, make sure your weight is towards your heels and not towards your toes. Begin by sitting back with your butt as far as you can. At the same time, you will be going down and your knees will go to the sides.
Your knees will at all times point in the direction that your toes point. When your knees and the crease between your legs and your stomach are even (so your legs are parallel to the ground) you can start ascending by squeezing your butt and legs. Try to go up and down, like an elevator, and NOT with your butt up first.