The altheticism boostin', breath takin', dump truck buildin', ultimate leg destroyin' exercise... A dish best served heavy.
If you know anything about me you probably know my favorite exercise is the barbell back squat. Squats just hit different. The squat is simple, yet, incredibly effective and will test your grit if you push yourself.
Why write an article on a simple exercise? Because it is misunderstood and often done incorrectly or just skipped altogether... don't be that person. Lastly, don't be intimidated by this move. Take the time to learn it correctly and start with super light weight to get the form down like a seasoned veteran.
First, barbell back squats (bbs) are a better and more effective overall muscle and strength builder than the leg press and smith machine squat (sms). PS Going full depth on a squat recruits and builds the glutes better than a shallow squat.
BBS recruit more muscle fibers in the legs, stimulate the core muscles more, are more functional, and have better carryover to athletics. Need I say more?
I will say this, especially regarding training for aesthetics, there is still a time and place for both leg press and the smith machine.
When you squat: (video below)
Face the rack, ideally one with safety arms + a spotter
grab the bar, spacing hands evenly
duck head under the bar, placing the bar on the meatiest part of your traps
with feet directly under bar, lift the bar off and slowly walk back 2-3 steps
starting position: feet a shoulder width apart, toes slightly pointed out (adjust per individual)
take a breath, brace core
descend hips back first, followed by knees, keeping chest tall, like sitting in a low chair
Once you reach the bottom, keep chest tall, and dig feet into ground, exhale on toughest portion
return to the starting position
Which brings us to my squat Tutorial! Give this a watch and subscribe to my YouTube channel! Also, check out my daily workout subscription to take the guesswork out of the gym!