Barbell Full Squat

The barbell back squat is a popular compound movement that emphasizes building the lower-body muscle groups and overall strength. It's the classic way to start a leg day, and is a worthy centerpiece to a lower-body training program. The squat is a competitive lift in the sport of powerlifting, but is also a classic measurement of lower-body strength. With the barbell racked on the traps or upper back, the emphasis is placed on the posterior chain but the entire body gets worked. The back squat can be trained in everything from heavy singles to sets of 20 reps or higher.


  1. Adds size and strength to the quads, glutes, and hamstrings
  2. Requires back and core strength to maintain torso positioning
  3. Can be used to improve conditioning and cardiovascular health
  4. Considered by many to be "the king of exercises"

Barbell Full Squat Images


Barbell Full Squat Instructions

Barbell Full Squat muscle diagram
  1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack just above shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  2. Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder-width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position.
  4. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and sitting back with your hips as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your hamstrings are on your calves. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  5. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel or middle of your foot as you straighten the legs and extend the hips to go back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

This type of squat allows a greater range of motion, and allows the trunk to maintain a more vertical position than other types of squats, due to foot position and the higher bar position.