Saturday, December 01, 2007



The bar should be gripped slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with the hands evenly spaced. The novice can initially adopt the same width grip as the bench press. Over time lifters tend to adopt a preference for either a wide grip or a narrow grip. In the wide grip technique the bar is gripped near to the sleeves, in competition the grip will therefore be taken outside the racks with the officials requested to set up the bar with “racks in”. A close grip technique involves grasping the bar close to the marks with the hands slightly wider than shoulder width, as described above with both grip-width techniques it is important to keep elbows together and under the bar to assist in pushing the chest out.


To set up the lift stand well under the bar with chest out and back tight. This initial preparation is vitally important in helping to maintain a strong upright position. The bar should be positioned on the back just below the top of the deltoids.

Once set up under the bar there should be a momentary pause before taking one step back. This one-step set up procedure is recommended as a means of quickly and easily establishing a stable stance with the minimum of wasted effort. In competition, once set up, the lifter would remain motionless awaiting the referee’s signal to squat.


The set up procedures described above assist in producing a good trunk position. There are several points that define a good trunk position:
§ the back is hyperextended,
§ the stomach pushed out against the belt for inter-abdominal support,
§ the chest is pushed out,
§ and head up and in the traps.


The width of the stance is defined by the feet positioning. In the initial stages of teaching the squat, recommend a foot position wider than shoulder width with toes pointed slightly out.


The descent must be controlled. In addition, for a good descent the knees are kept out, the hips move down and back with an attempt to keep the shins vertical.


During the reversal from descent ascent ensure that the hips are locked and that there is a well controlled transition through the bottom of the squat. The reversal phase should be sufficiently slow to avoid the appearance of dropping or bouncing but rapid enough to take advantage of the stored elastic energy in the muscles. In the ascent, it is vital to keep the head and chest up and elbows under the bar to maintain an upright trunk position.

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