Ask anyone (in the sports world, of course).
Lo squat with barbell on the back - the back squat - is the King of Exercises.
Now ask anyone who does it for the first time in long series.
He will answer you with moans of pain.
Back squat: cross and sportsman's delight
It is useless to get lost in the details, however much there are books that dedicate entire chapters to the back squat (the famous Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, for example).
Reach a rack - if necessary, chase away whoever is occupying it to do curl with barbell - load some discs on the barbell, wedged under it, lift it with the push of the legs and holding the core stiff, take a step or two backwards (no more, as it is a waste of energy), and squat for series and rep foreseen by your card.
Se suffer more or less in silence, it just depends on your attitude.
You are clearly not a girl, and the squat is "valid" if it reaches parallelor rather if it goes down a little.
Half squats and quarter squats leave them to powerlifters and experienced Olympians, who know what to do with them in training.
That's all? The technique in the back squat
The technical measures are, as for any multiarticular exercise, many. I summarize the most important, but each would need a dedicated article (I will ask to CrossMag.it to let me do it, because it would be useful for everyone).
- barbell position on the back: high or low low bar...
- … And therefore inclination of the bust
- width of the feet: different widths correspond to different intensities of the exercise sui 4 muscle bundles of the quadriceps
- use of heel lift (or powerlifter shoes)
- look: where to look during movement (pro tip: if you exceed 120kg load, you can look at Arnold's poster).
The benefits of barbell squats
Every advantage you can think of, the squat gives it to you. In particular:
- quadriceps hypertrophy (and other leg district muscles)
- work on resistance (at high series we talk about conditioning work)
- HUGE transfer to other exercises and movements (deadlifts, push press, sprint, cycling ... and CrossFit®)
- mental work
About the last point: the squat can be scary, because have a heavy load on your back it is destabilizing. When we do a lot of reps, with the heart beating wildly and the legs that want to shake, this feeling intensifies.
That's where you have to push harder, and get to the end of the series.
The squat is one of those exercises that build characteras well as the muscles.
But the squat hurts my knee
False, very false.
The badly done squat hurts your knees.
Adequate heating, excellent technique (it's not aeronautical engineering, but still needs to be refined), gradual loads and don't overdo it: squats are not a harmful exercise. There is talk of risks when loads become demanding.
Three curiosities about the squat
- in bodybuilding jargon, the series of 20 back squats with barbell are called widowmaker
- if he found the rack occupied, Kirk Karwoski, considered the greatest "squattist" of all time, threw the usurper's things around the gym, and ordered him to free him within 5 minutes. Captain Kirk squatted 1003 pounds (455 kg) for two reps in training, and for one rep in the race.
- I don't squat for my reasons, but I do the leg press. That's fine, but know that in a back squat workout i testosterone levels are on average higher than 25% (those of GH, the growth hormone, more than 200%).