Barbell squats

barbell-squats-2 Info

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Barbell Squat

This Squats Variation is the King of All Leg Exercises and can be used to Effectively Build Muscle Mass or Lose Body Fat

Welcome to our Barbell Squat Exercise Instruction Guide! 

On this page you’ll learn how to do this version of the squat using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Leg Exercises so you can immediately add to your Leg Workouts.

Have you checked out our list of the Best Leg Exercises yet? See if this squats variation made the list.

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Barbell Squat
Main Muscle: Quadriceps
Secondary Muscle(s): Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Exercise Type: Compound
Equipment Required: Barbell

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This Leg Exercise is one of the best Weight Training Exercises. It should be a staple in both your Muscle Building Workouts and Fat Loss Workouts. Make sure to perform squats using a weight rack unless you are using a very light amount of weight. 


To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Start by setting up your desired weight with the bar on the squat rack and position yourself under the bar with your the bar on your traps and your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing forward.
  2. Lift the barbell off the squat rack by pressing upwards slightly.
  3. Slowly lower the weight by bending forward at the knees and allowing your hips to bend back as if you are sitting down (squatting). You should descend until your thighs are just past parallel to floor.
  4. Return to the starting position standing straight up by pressing upwards and extending your legs while maintaining an equal distribution of weight on your forefoot and heel. Continue looking forward
  5. Once you have returned to the starting position, pause for a moment then and repeat.


  1. Practice Squats without any weight to allow yourself to become comfortable with the movements.
  2. Only use an amount of weight that allows you to perform the lift correctly. Using too much weight and not fully descending at the bottom of the lift is dangerous and causes muscular imbalances between your quadriceps and hamstrings, which can lead to knee injuries.
  3. Use a wider stance to place more of an emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes.
  4. Keep your head facing forward and your back straight throughout the exercise. You should maintain equal weight distribution on your forefoot and heel during the lift

Other Popular Leg Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Lower Body Exercises. These pages link to all of our variations of the most popular leg exercises:

  • Calf Raises
  • Deadlifts
  • Hack Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step Ups

Now that you’ve seen the Barbell Squat, which primarily target your Quads, check out all of our different Quadriceps Exercises. 

Also view our Leg Exercises Page, which links to our Quadriceps Exercises as well as our Calf Exercises, Glute Exercises and Hamstring Exercises.

Finally, if you found this page of interest, check out these related pages:

  • Best Leg Exercises
  • Weight Training Exercises Main Page
  • Muscle Building Workouts and Fat Loss Workouts
  • Strength Training Exercises and Fat Burning Exercises 

You’ve seen the Leg Exercises. Now access the Workout Routines. 
Start at our Home Page.

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