Oct 18, 2016
Breaking Down the Squat
Micah Kurtz

I consider the squat the most important exercise for most athletes. It is the number one movement in all of my strength programs, including my basketball program. I tell my players that athletes are built from the ground up. If they want to run fast and jump high, they must have a strong base, and that all starts with the squat exercise. (Read my previous blog here for more on why I use the squat, and other exercises I use with basketball players.)

Below is a video that breaks down the squat. And here are some cues that may help:

Body weight squat:

1. Push the hips back

2. Keep chest up and back flat

3. Sit back toward your heels

4. As you go down, push your knees away from each other

5. Control the squat on the way down and come up faster

Goblet/Kettle bell/Dumbbell squat:

The cues are the same except you want to hold the weighted object at shoulder height. Keep the arms tight to the upper body. Now since you have a weight in front of you, you can really sit back into the squat.

Front Squat:

The cues are the same except you want to hold the barbell on your shoulders. The bar should rest on the front of the shoulders and clavicles. Keep your elbows up so the bar stays in a good position.

Back Squat:

The cues are the same except the bar should rest on the back of the shoulders at the base of the neck. The scapula should be retracted.

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat:

1. Hop the front foot out so your knee stays behind your toe as you descend

2. Push the hips back as you descend

3. Keep chest up and back flat

4. Top of thigh should be parallel to the ground

Micah Kurtz, MS, CSCS*D, RSCC*D, USAW, FMS, NASE, is in his eighth year as Director of Strength and Conditioning at AC Flora High School in Columbia, S.C., which was won 14 state championships in the past five years, including the 2016 boys' basketball championship. He also serves as Strength and Conditioning Consultant Coach to nine-time high school basketball national champion Oak Hill Academy, which won the Dick's High School National Basketball Tournament in 2016. Kurtz is the 2016 National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) National High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year and is the State Director of its South Carolina Chapter and a member of the Subject Matter Expert Committee. You can follow him on twitter and Instagram @KurtzM3 or visit his website at: www.TheAthleteMaker.com.

Shop see all »

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
website development by deyo designs
Interested in receiving the print or digital edition of Training & Conditioning?

Subscribe Today »

Be sure to check out our sister sites: