How To: The Proper Squat

Proper form is critical when at the gym. One of our FAST® trainers, Michael Winters, has demonstrated the squat and describes how to make sure you do not injure yourself the next time you go to pick up the bar.

FAST® How To: The Squat <— Watch the YouTube video here.

FAST® How To: The Squat (side view) <—- And here!


1) Place the bar in a balanced position across the upper back and shoulders. Lift the elbows to create a “shelf” using the upper back and shoulder muscles.

2) Hold the chest up

3) Lift the bar off of the squat rack by extending the hips and legs

4) Take two or three steps back from the squat rack

5) Position the feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider with the toes pointed slightly out

6) Maintain a position with the back flat and the chest held up and out

7) Begin the downward movement by allowing the hips and knees to flex

8) Keep the heels in contact with the floor and the knees aligned over the feet

– letting the knees align in a position over the toes can place a great amount of stress on the patella tendon. To help avoid this common mistake it is good to keep the weight directed through the heels.

9) Continue to flex the hips and knees until; the thighs are parallel to the floor, the heels raise up from the floor, or the trunk begins to flex or round forward

10) To begin the upward movement extend the hips and knees at the same speed in order to keep a constant angle between the torso and the floor

11) Be conscious to not let the trunk round or flex forward

12) Continue to extend the hips and knees until a standing position is reached

13) When the set is finished, walk the bar back into the squat rack making sure there is contact with both sides of the bar before flexing the hips and knees to let the bar rest back on the rack.

Congratulations! You have completed a squat and are now one step closer to reaching your fitness goal!

For more information on training or for a FAST® location near you, visit!


Source: NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).