Looking for tips on getting started squatting? While I definitely wouldn’t call myself a squat guru I would say that after 10 years of squatting I can at the least tell you how I learned and point you in the right direction.
How to Squat Summary (Back Squat)
- Keep your feet at shoulder width or slightly wider.
- Turn your feet out more than you would think.
- Keep your back tight. Don’t hyper-arch it, but don’t let it round.
- Go as deep as you can without rounding your lower back. If you feel the lower back round then you have gone to far
- Place the bar below the top of your shoulders, right above the scapula.
- Keep your shoulders tight and back and down and keep your elbows up.
- Sit back as you squat and keep your weight over your heels.
- Take a deep breath before you go down and let it out as you go back up
If you only have time to watch a gif
Watch this from the video below:
If you only have time to watch a video
If you only have time to read a book
This is best book on squatting. Ripptoe is polarizing figure in some ways but you cannot deny he knows what he is talking about when it comes to teaching people how to squat.
Fun fact: I actually learned how to squat from Mark Rippetoe back when he was teaching in Wichita Falls.
Where to post form check videos
For form check videos I highly recommend uploading to YouTube and then posting the form check in one of the following:
Should you use a belt?
In short, using a belt seems to be a great way to increase the abdominal pressure. For me it helps me just keep everything tight. This seems to reduce injuries overall for me. I use them when things get heavier.
Here is a video I recommend:
What belt do you recommend?
Here is our article on the Best Weightlifting Belts.
Should you use weightlifting shoes?
Depends on how your form is without them.
Here is a great video on the subject:
And here is another:
What shoes do you recommend?
A lot of people get started with something like Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars.
You can also check out our Best Weightlifting Shoes for more info on what we suggest.
Is a squat pad a horrible idea?
It’s a bit of a crutch I would say. I have never used one. Ironically though I will be trying one out and writing a review on it soon.
In general though I would say that if it makes you more likely to squat then a squat pad is a great idea. If not, then avoid it. Be your own person.
Squats are tough enough. 10 reps squats have almost killed me before. I will fault no one for trying to make squats a little more comfortable.
Back Squat vs High Bar Squat vs Front Squat
This is a back squat:
This is a front squat:
This is a high-bar back squat:
What is the best music to squat to?
This is probably the best question I have ever gotten and honestly one of the most important. I will kick this off but you let me know in the comments some more to add.
What is yours!?