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Top 3 Squat Tips – How to Squat Better


After polling the Diesel community this past week, I found out that you wanted to see more live workout videos.

So, here is the first installment of many videos to come.

The video is of a recent lower body training session where we hit squats, deadlifts and some other supplemental exercises.  The remainder of the workout videos from this session will be going up over the course of the next week.

As you will see, throughout the video, I shout out technique and coaching cues to each lifter.  It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, you should always be getting coached.  Even elite powerlifters are coached during their sets.

Technique breaks down for many different reasons when you’re training, so you should always be trying to achieve and drive toward YOUR optimal form for each exercise.

Here are 3 of the top how to squat coaching cues you’ll typically here.

Coaching tip #1:  Hips back

The reason is you want to load your hips and posterior chain to better distribute the load on the bar and engage the right muscle groups.  Remember, “whatever gets loaded first, gets loaded maximally.” (Kelly Starrett)  So if your first move when squatting is straight down, you’ll be loading your knees and quads.

Coaching tip #2:  Chest up

If your chest falls forward, you’ll fall forward.  And your squat will turn into a good morning.  You’ll have better leverages and be much stronger if you brace and tighten your torso, and keep your chest up.  Many times, I’ll tell the lifter that they have a string tied to their chest and as they sit back, they should imagine someone leads them out of the hole by pulling upward on the string.

Coaching tip #3:  Knees out

The cue of “knees out” is really only one part of the cue.  Yes, this will allow your knees to track over your ankles and keep the forces distributed evenly.  But you also must learn how to create torque in your hips by imagining “spreading the floor” with your feet – to optimally activate and engage the glutes and hamstrings.  You “wind up” the entire lower body to gain more control of the movement, decelerate better, and reverse the movement out of the hole with more power.

When you focus on these 3 crucial squat coaching cues, your form will always get much better.  Try them out and let me know in the comments how your training session went.

Reference:  How to Squat – Comprehensive Guide


By on February 2nd, 2013

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Comment (1)

  1. Posted by - Drew on February 7, 2013

    You guys inspired the lady in the tie-dye t-shirt in the background at 6:00 to do squats!

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