An accomplished dermatologist, Dr. Steven Armus has seen tens of thousands of patients over his more than 15 years in the field, operating as the principal physician at two different practices. Outside of work, Dr. Steven Armus is committed to maintaining physical fitness through activities such as weightlifting.
The low bar squat is a fundamental lift for those wanting to get stronger. It works muscles throughout the entire body and engages the posterior chain, all the way from the foot, up the legs, into the hips, and up the spine. When performed incorrectly, however, it carries the potential for injury, just like every other barbell lift.
Before pulling the bar out of the rack, ensure that it’s resting on top of the rear deltoids. This is different than the high bar squat, in which the bar rests on the trapezius muscles. Before unracking the back, take in a deep breath and brace your core so that you can stabilize the weight. Then lift the bar up using the back and hips and step away from the rack.
Maintaining a neutral spine, the torso should be leaning forward a bit in order to keep the bar aligned over the middle of the foot. During the squat movement, the bar should maintain a vertical path, always staying over the ball of the foot. To begin the squat, take in a deep breath, brace the core again, and move the hips back while simultaneously bending the knees outward toward the feet. Lower the hips so they are just below the knees. Then drive the hips and chest upward at the same time (not forward) to bring the bar back to the top position.
That describes the essential movements of the low bar squat. This lift is perfect for those who want to build more explosiveness and strength in their core and lower body.