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How to Squat – Tip #2 – Setting the Lats


How to Squat Training Series

In the next installment in the “How to Squat” video series we will look at the little known component of setting the lats.  This is one of the most misunderstood and under utilized form corrections when a lifter or athlete engages in any type of squat.

But it is very important.

Let’s first look at the types of squats and then we’ll talk about how to engage the lats.

Types of Squats

  • full back squats
  • powerlifting squats
  • box squats (front, back)
  • front squats
  • jump squats
  • goblet squats
  • zercher squats
  • overhead squats
  • pistol, i.e. one leg squats


Tip #2 – Setting the Lats

When the lifter prepares to squat, they must first create tension. This is especially true if the weight is a max or near maximal effort.   In the first part of the how to squat series we learned about pulling our elbows down and our chest up.  As we do this, the next step is to squeeze the bar very hard.  Not only squeeze the bar hard, but engage the lats by pulling the bar into your upper back.  This tension is so important for stabilizing the torso, protecting the spine, helping you to remain upright and increasing the amount of weight you can lift.

In fact, renowned back special Stuart Mcgill states that the simple act of engaging the lats during the squat can add 20-30lbs to your squat weight immediately.

Remember, more tension equals more strength.

Stay tuned for Tip#3 in the “How to Squat” series where we teach you what to do with the hips.

How to Squat – Tip #2 – Setting the Lats

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By on December 17th, 2010


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Comments (2)

  1. Posted by - Vivian on December 24, 2010

    Interesting tip.

  2. Posted by - cj on March 19, 2012

    hi i have serious trouble setting my feet right as i squat, ive been squating since the summer and have almost lost hope. any suggestions?

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