The Perfect Back Squat

 Kyoko Hamada

Because it trains muscles in the lower and upper back, abdominals, trunk, costal, and shoulders, a well-performed squat is an essential exercise, and will help develop your core. Don’t overdo it with too much weight, and make sure to pay attention to your form to maximize the results and prevent potential muscle, ligament, or tendon strain.

1. Place your heels a little more than shoulder width apart and turn your toes outward 30 degrees.

2. Place the bar parallel between the base of your traps and on top of your delts, hands as close together as possible.

3. Balance the bar so it lines up above the middle of your arches.

4. Focus your eyes on a spot on the floor five feet in front of you; keep them on that spot through the whole squat.

5. Sink straight down with your upper body leaning forward at 45 degrees, pausing briefly when your hips drop just below your knees.

6. Don’t stop at the bottom: Tighten your hip muscles, give a slight bounce, drive your hips up, and stand.