The Squat — A Comprehensive Guide & Leg Day Example

Recently we went over the three core exercises you need — regardless if you’re prepping for summer, or wanting to make a lifestyle change. Number two on that list is the Squat. This, as previously stated, is the King of all lifts. It activates just about every aspect of your body in some form or another: every muscle in your legs for force production, just about every muscle in your core for stabilization of your spine, and even a large portion of your back to stabilize the weight.


Beyond how it makes your body grow, not many things are as mentally satisfying as slapping 435 pounds onto a bar and going ass to the grass for 3 reps – except for maybe getting 4 reps.  And with all these changes come the need for new workout clothing, but that’s another article. So here is where we break down and elaborate on the proper technique you need to build some tree trunk thighs and some rippling calves. Here are the most important aspects of the motion you need to pay attention to:

  1. Before anything else, making sure you have your feet properly set is critical to maximum force generation. So you will begin by taking both feet and placing them about shoulder-width apart with a slight turning of your’ feet outwards.2. Next up is making sure the weight is properly placed on your shoulders.
  2. .Many gym-goers believe that you should have the weight set high up on your neck, and this is wrong and even dangerous. I personally aim to set the weight right on the scapular ridge – it’s the bony process that starts at the shoulder and progresses back and down your back. Many people make an issue out of how it hurts to put the weight on your shoulders, but that just means your traps aren’t large enough (yet)!
  3. Now you’re ready for action: The down motion is critical for performing the exercise both safely, and effectively. The focus should be on keeping your head and chest upright as you move down, which is critical for maintaining proper posture in your spine, and allowing your hips to slide back and downwards while keeping the weight on your heels — like sitting down on a little stool. Your glutes should drop below the level of your knees (the technical term here is “ass to the grass”) meaning your thighs move beyond parallel with the ground; past a 90-degree angle with your calf.
  4.  The upward motion should strongly engage your glutes, quads, and calves. With the movement being lead by your chest to maintain correct form. Again, make sure your weight moves through your heels, not your toes. You are squatting here, not calf raising.
model wearing Showers Pass body-mapped baselayer.

Now that you have a guide for how to do the movement safely, here’s an example of my most recent Leg Day Circuit you can apply to your own regiment (and maybe even convince a lady-friend to join you for):


Here is some additional motivation from Aurora LZ via SimplyShredded to get up off you ass and start overcoming yourself :