As a trainer, it’s my job to support my clients and get them to do things they never thought they could do. One of the biggest challenges, especially with my clients who are women, is the barbell. It’s a rather large contraption that makes you think of a big, scary, gorilla-looking man with veins popping out of his head using it. However, it’s so important to break this misconception, as strength training (which can include using the barbell) has many benefits. Some of these include:
Let’s not forget about the increased self-confidence and the joy in seeing your body get stronger. Strength and barbell training is important for physical fitness, and this guide will walk you through all the basics of a barbell squat to get you started.
8-12 reps of each
The bar should be at the same level as your collarbone. If the bar is set too low, the lift-off from the squat rack would require using either your back or more of your quads, which is less optimal. If the bar is too high, the lift-off from the squat rack would require you to go on your toes (which is unsafe) or the lift-off cannot be achieved.
To change the height, remove the barbell from the squat rack and adjust the hooks to an appropriate height. Trial and error is completely acceptable, because it’s more important that it’s set up properly than to try and rush through it.
I find that I, and many of my clients, prefer to place their hands a thumb’s distance from the line that separates the smooth and gritty part (knurling) of the barbell. However, some people, like those with wider shoulders or restricted shoulder mobility prefer to place their ring finger on the smooth ring of the barbell in the gritty part. Whichever feels more comfortable is the right position for you, which may even change as you progress.
*Gym Etiquette Note: Once you finish all of your barbell squats, please return any plates (weights you put on the barbell) you have used to the proper weight tree!
My key piece of advice? Keep practicing. This wasn’t something that the strongest lifters learned overnight. Everyone has to start somewhere in order for progress to be achieved. Please don’t be discouraged if you feel like you aren’t doing it right. Do your research, watch lots of videos (one of my favorite local sources is Achieve Fitness), increase the weights if it feels too easy, hire a trainer if you need to, and keep improving—small steps are better than no steps.
Go out there and have a great workout!
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2018/10/31/beginners-guide-barbell-back-squat-video/
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