FITNESS: Getting to grips with barbell squat

March 26th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Squatting is an essential move to master. Try it with a barbell on a rack.

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By Paudie O’Donovan: Neuromuscular Physical Therapist

SQUATTING has to be on everyone’s list when it comes to strength training.

The strength you get from the movement of sitting down and then up in a controlled manner will stand (excuse the pun) to you so well when it comes to every day movements.

You squat so much every day even if you don’t realise it. The very first thing you do each day is a squat: you wake up, sit on the edge of the bed and then stand up. Getting up and down off a seat or a couch requires a squat position. Sitting on your haunches requires a squat, so it’s clear that it’s an essential movement in everyday life. Whether you use the smith machine in the gym or a barbell with plate while resting on a rack is up to you.

Barbell squat

Start with a barbell on a rack with your desired amount of weight on either side of the barbell. Place the barbell across your shoulders and lift it away from the rack. Now in a controlled manner bend your legs down and try and get to 45 degrees. Don’t go too deep, now stand back up. That’s one  repetition. Try to perform eight to 10 reps and remember to breathe out while performing the movement. Rest for one minute and do a second set


The barbell across your shoulders should be comfortable. Grip it wide on both sides, pick a point with your eyes out in front of you and stare at that point while performing the repetitions. Don’t overdo it at the start.

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