Why: To increase strength, you’ve got to squat heavy; and out of all the loaded barbell squats, the back squat (due to its position on the upper back) allows you to lift the most weight. Back squats obviously build strength in the lower body, but they also help build a strong core. And if you really want to celebrate back squats, try the “Assault 50/50” WOD.
Set-Up: Start with your feet at a shoulder-width stance. Rest the bar on your upper back. Place your hands on the barbell just outside your shoulders. Get a full grip. Point your elbows back and lift your chest up.
Execution: Brace your core. Reach your hips back and down as you descend to the bottom of the squat. At the bottom, your hips should be lower than your knees. Maintain your lumbar curve throughout the squat. Keep your heels in contact with the ground as you descend, then ascend. Your knees should track your toes throughout the movement. Stand tall at the top of the movement to reach full hip and knee extension.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– Your hip crease drops below your knee crease at the bottom of the squat
– You reach full hip and knee extension at the top
Pro-Tip: If you want to max out your back squat, find spotters. Ideally, you have two people on either side of you. Their hands go on the barbell sleeves/plates and they guide the barbell down and back up. No spotters? Reduce the weight.