How to Perform a Proper Squat

Jude Mishmash preforming a high-bar back squat

Kael McCleary

Jude Mishmash preforming a high-bar back squat

I sat down with Mr. Granite Tano, in his fifth year teaching at Hillcrest High School, to teach me how to properly perform a high-bar back squat.

Prior to teaching at Hillcrest, he was a strength and conditioning coach at a high school in Arizona. Attending graduate school at Southern Utah University, he earned his masters degree in sports conditioning and performance.

To begin, you want to make sure that your muscles are warmed up to avoid any injuries. You also want to choose an appropriate weight for the number of sets and repetitions performed.
After approaching the bar, you want to place your hands and your feet shoulder width apart. This proper grip and stance will primarily help with core stability. Then, take the bar off the rack while resting it on top of your traps.

Before descending, you want to rotate your toes slightly outward to open your hips to allow for a smoother, deeper squat. While looking forward, drop down with your nose moving on a vertical axis. Leading too far forward with your nose is improper technique and can cause injury.

The goal is to stop when your quadriceps are parallel with the ground. Depending on your flexibility, a deeper squat can be performed when you descend past parallel and your quads touch your calves.

By “utilizing the natural bounce,” as Tano puts it, you want to accelerate from the squatted position to complete one repetition.