Back squat (Skill)

Bilateral Strength Movement Skill Progression

Back Squat

Back Squat


  • To improve lower limb strength, mobility and posture


Back squat start position.

Back squat bottom position (side view).

Back squat bottom position (front view).

  • Position a barbell in a squat rack set to armpit height

  • Place the barbell across the upper back, gripping slightly wider than shoulder width

  • Place the feet slightly wider than hip width and turn the toes slightly outwards

  • Prior to initiating movement, breathe in, tighten the trunk and lift the chest

  • Initiate descent by pushing the hips backwards and sitting through the heels

  • Push the knees outwards in line with the toes. Trying to pull the feet apart might help

  • The back should remain in a neutral position with the chest and head up

  • Descend until the thighs break parallel to the ground or until you cannot maintain a neutral back position

  • Stand up quickly by driving through the heels and leading with the chest

  • Breathe out as you achieve an erect stance


  • Learning: 3 x 8–12 repetitions (2–3min recovery) with 15–30kg barbell

  • Basic strength: 3 x 5–7 repetitions (2–3min recovery) at RPE of 7–8 or 70–85 per cent 1RM

  • Maximum strength: 3–5 x 1–4 repetitions (3–5min recovery) at RPE of 8–10 or 85–100 per cent 1RM