Build Muscle With the Back Squat | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Build Muscle With the Back Squat

February 27, 2012

Must See Strength Training Videos

If you are looking to quickly gain muscle mass, try the king of all exercises: the Squat. The lower body has massive amounts of metabolism-increasing potential, and the Squat amps it all up perfectly. Adding muscle mass increases the body's basic metabolism rate, helping you burn more calories throughout the day and night. Even while sleeping, you'll burn calories.

When you perform the Squat, it needs to be heavy but safe. If the load is too heavy and your core is not strong enough, you could end up with too much pressure on your spine. An athlete who has never performed the Squat should progressively work his/her way up to adding weight. You should first be able to perform a Bodyweight Squat. Then practice with a broomstick or the barbell. After showing perfect technique with the bar, you can start loading it with safe weight.

Back Squat How-To
Place the barbell behind your neck across your upper back. Before removing the bar from the rack, pinch your shoulder blades together and stick your chest out. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out slightly. Keep your back and feet flat, abs tight and chest filled with air. Do not bend at the waist or lean forward.

Back Squat Technique

Squat by lowering  your hips back and down. Keep your feet and back flat and your chest up as you drop into a full Squat position, thighs slightly below parallel with the ground. Upon reaching the bottom position, drive up through your heels. Keep your chest up, elbows high and back flat. Once standing upright with the bar on your back, walk the bar safely back into the rack.

Back Squat Technique 1

It is very important to always have a spotter when performing Squats. The spotter should make sure you're getting proper depth in the Squat, that your heels are flat on the ground, your eyes looking straight ahead and your chest up. Your knees should not go beyond your toes.

Below are the Set/Reps range you should perform, depending on your specific goal:

Goal: Muscular Endurance
Load: 55-70 percent of one rep max
Sets/Reps: 2-3x12-15
Rest Period: 30 seconds

Goal: Hypertrophy
Load: 70-85 percent of one rep max
Sets/Reps: 3-6x6-12
Rest Period: 30-90 seconds

Goal: Strength/Power
Load: 80-95 percent of one rep max
Sets/Reps: 3-5x1-6
Rest Period: 2-5 minutes

Shelton Stevens is a member of the strength staff at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to joining USM, he was the head strength coach at Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). He has also worked under LSU strength coach Tommy Moffitt, helping to train the Tigers’ nationally-ranked football team and their 2009 national champion baseball team. During his career, he has worked with four national champions, seven conference champions and 12 All-Americans. He is CSCCa, SCCC, USAW, NSCA and RSCC certified, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in athletic administration.

Shelton Stevens
- Shelton Stevens is a member of the strength staff at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to joining USM, he was the head strength coach...
Shelton Stevens
- Shelton Stevens is a member of the strength staff at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to joining USM, he was the head strength coach...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Whether you've been training a while and you're stuck in a rut or a beginner wanting to do whatever you can do to see those gains come sooner rather...

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Blast Through Plateaus with Tempo Sets

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

Build Full-Body Strength With 5 Suspension Trainer Exercises

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

5 Softball Catcher Drills for Throwing Power

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Top 5 Baseball Strength Training Myths

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Build a Strong Core

A Better Way to Train Your Core

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag