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5 Thoughts about Squats

Squats - I love the variations and all ways they help me to build my legs.

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This video was published December 30, 2015. Watching it makes me want to cringe. But I still want to show you all the video in effect to explain that progression is better than perfection. And I'd like to discuss what is wrong with this video. Originally I wrote this article to explain the box squat. That is, squatting down to where your bum touches a chair or bench and then standing back up. In this article I discuss the box squat, the back squat, spine alignment while squatting and more.

1) Box Squats

I don't believe you should box squat with this heavy weight now. Box squats are best for those who do not have strength or endurance to squat to 90 degrees for reputations. They're best performed with a light load. Specifically to work on form. What you see in the video is a sumo (wide stance) box squat with 135lbs. When I squat down you can see my pelvis tilt back a little bit. The box is supposed to help you get low enough but not too low that the lumbar spine tilts under. This is known as a "butt wink" in the training industry. You want to avoid your pelvis tilting while squatting, especially while bearing weight. Box squats help users sit further back knowing the box / bench is there which helps prevent the knee from extending too far past my toe further engaging the glutes & hammies.

2) Back Squat

I never back squat any more. Ok, maybe 2-3 times / year when I'm in phase 4 (Max Strength) of my my 12 Month training program. But that's it. 

3) The Spine

Keeping the spine aligned while squatting is oh so important. I see a lot of people extend (bend back) their cervical neck while raising up or going down out in a squat. The cervical (neck) spine of yours isn't going to love them much longer. Remember all of our components are connected. Bad neck = bad back, bad back = bad hips, bad hips = bad feet. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Keep your lumbar (lower) , thoracic (middle) and cervical (neck) spine in line in both deadlifts and squats and all other movements. In the video you can see my neck is aligned with my spine. No looking up or down.

4) Squats to gain weight

This video above was filmed after completing 5 sets of deadlifts up to 135lb. After completing one month of Stability and one month of Endurance Training you can enter into Hypertrophy phase which will continue your muscle growth in the lower body.  Pair it with my clean bulking meal plan found in my Meal Plan Recipe book and let the gains begin. After my last hypertrophy phase I completed a month of Max Strength training (Olympic lifting) and boom! I gained 5 lbs of solid mass (from 138 at to 143) in one month.

5) Different Squats for Different Phases

Here is an example of different phases of the Squat directly from my 12 Month Training Program. As you can see that the squat is performed differently in all phases.

  • Phase 1 - Single Leg Goblet Squat, 12-20 reps
  • Phase 2 - Single Leg Squat, 12-20 reps superset with Barbell Front Squats, 8 reps
  • Phase 3 - Barbell Front Squat, 8-12 reps (what is shown in video)
  • Phase 4 - Snatch, Clean & Jerk & Front Squat, 3-5 reps
  • Phase 5 - Barbell Front Squat 3-5 reps superset with Power Leg Exercise 45 seconds

If there is anything else you'd like to know about the squat or feel should be discussed here please find me on the links below and let me know what you think. I'm happy to expand and discuss any and all elements of the squat.

G.I. Lane 12 Month Strength Training Plan

  • Compound and Isolated Exercises
  • Warm Up and Cool Down
  • High Intensity and Dynamic

About the Author Stephanie Lane

Stephanie is an author, bodybuilder, and blogger. You can check out her latest book here.