Once you’ve mastered the basic squat move, you can add a bar to the mix!
But first, execute a few squats to warm up and ensure perfect form. Be sure to check out Gregg’s Squat video to get that perfect form.
Form is absolutely critical, and it begins at the pick up. Pay attention! No injuries! If you are adding any weight, place the bar on a rack. If getting below parallel is a challenge, go as deep as you can while maintaining perfect form. However, if you can only drop a few inches, do not use the bar just yet. Depth is more important than adding weight. So perfect your form with no bar, then add weight as you get stronger.
Getting the Bar Overhead Safely
• To begin, squat down and place your hands just outside shoulder-width on the bar.
• Chest up and head level as you drive up through your heels.
• With bar now at hip level, dip with your legs.
• Drive up to allow the bar to reach your upper chest with elbows in.
• Dip again to press bar up and overhead, gently placing it on your shoulders.
Never bend over to pick up the bar. Never, ever sloppily maneuver the bar overhead—a sure road to injury.
The Set Up & Execution
• Set your hands so that they are outside of your shoulders.
• Feet are shoulder-width and slightly flared with the weight in the heels.
• Engage your core as you take a breath and hold it as you squat down.
• Weight still in the heels, legs at parallel or just below.
• Chest up and head neutral.
• Drive up through your heels, squeezing your butt hard on the way up to a full and upright position.
At the bottom of the squat, your lumbar spine has maintained its curve. This is critical. Do not round your back at any point!
To get the bar back to the ground, dip. Then drive the bar overhead, lower to the chest with your elbows in. Squat down to place the bar safely on the ground. This is a critical step because that’s where people get injured. They are done with the move and get sloppy. Slop leads to injury.
So let’s make sure you get green checks on these key points:
• Squat to get the bar and dip to chest, then press overhead.
• Hands and feet outside of shoulder-width, weight in heels.
• Chest up and core engaged with head neutral.
• Drop your butt back and down like you’re sitting on a toilet.
• At the bottom of the squat, legs are at parallel or just below.
• Core is engaged at all times.
• Knees are staying within the toe line; and as you drive up through the heels, squeeze the glutes.
• Stand tall and proud at the top.