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How To Improve Your Squat Max

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For some people doing a squat is completely natural and they get into the form of doing a good squat very easily but for others learning all the different variables that are required to do a squat correctly can take a lot of practice. When squatting your form or technique that you use is everything, so we will be taking a look at what works and what does not work.

It should be noted here that training with maximum weights and doing your 1RM is something that should be limited to trainers that have been training for at least a year. But learning the correct way to do a squat is something that needs to be practiced often until you have it down.

The first and without a doubt the most important factor when doing the squat is to make sure that you are ALWAYS bending from your hips first and not your knees. Just like sitting on a toilet making sure that your shins are kept as upright as possible so that your hips are moving first.

The placement of the barbell on your back is also vitally important if you want to squat with a heavy weight. Placing the bar too high on the traps will cause you to bend too much at your waist which could throw your hips out of alignment at the bottom of the squat causing too much weight near your head and stressing your lower back.

But placing the bar too low is also a problem causing stress on your rotator cuffs. So the perfect place to place the bar on your back is just between the lower traps and the upper rear delts. Power-lifters call this the "shelf" which may require you to lift your elbows up when squatting to create this shelf.

Where and how you place your grip on the bar may also affect your form and stop any rolling of the bar up or down your back when you squat. So it is important that you take a firm grip on the bar making sure that the width of your grip is comfortable and easy.

Where you place your feet when squatting is vitally important and the general a rule of thumb can be applied here that the person with larger hips will be able to squat better using a wider stance while a lifter with genetically large quads will squat better using a closer stance.

If you train at one of the fancy gyms that has a mono-lift squat rack then you should have no problem with your walkout as you can simply stand up with the weight on your back and start squatting. However if you have the normal old squat rack your walk out could be important when selecting your foot stance.

The last point is your breathing which is something that can play a major role in improving your 1RM. You should never exhale when going down and the best way to prevent this is to simply hold your breath until you start to come up from the bottom of a squat or hold your breath until you complete the movement.


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