Squat Technique: How to Set-Up Properly (and Save Your Back)

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The squat is undoubtedly one of the more popular exercises out there in the fitness world, and with good reason!  You’d be hard pressed to find anything else that can trump what it can accomplish with regards to muscle gains, increased strength, improved athletic performance, and even less talked about benefits like increased bone density (staving off osteoporosis) as well as a litany of positive hormonal adaptations that come into play.

While there’s an endless abyss of information available discussing proper squatting technique – what’s the ideal bar placement, foot placement, how to groove a proper hip hinge (and by extension how to engage the hamstrings/glutes to a higher degree), not to mention all the different variations – more cogent to today’s post I want to discuss a factor that’s often dismissed or at best glazed over.

And that’s how not to destroy the back of your pants the set-up.

Quite literally, how you set up to squat can make or break your set, and thinking more long-term, your overall squatting success.

Many people just kinda haphazardly approach the bar, un-rack it without much thought or attention to detail, and then perform their set. And I hate to break it to you:  it looks like garbage.  And I can only imagine what it feels like.

Suffice it to say, there’s a bit more to it than just approaching the bar and performing your set.  Like, a lot more. And in today’s video I briefly cover why taking the time to set-up properly (and yes, even learning how to un-rack and rack the bar without making your spine hate you) can pay huge dividends in terms of keeping your back healthy in addition to aiding overall squatting performance.

* Photo credit above goes to the peeps over at Elitefts.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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