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Back squats for muscle building

One great lower body exercise to include as part of your routine is a back squat. A back squat is most commonly performed using a barbell and is used primarily to help develop the quads, hamstrings and muscles surrounding the hips.

This is a very intense exercise by nature so you will want to ensure you are performing it towards the start of your routine when you are feeling most fresh and ready to lift heavy.

To begin the back squat you will place the high bar across your upper back so that it is making contact with both of your shoulders. You should avoid putting it too high however as this could place excess strain on your neck and is definitely not something you want.

Slowly you will begin to bent at the knees, thinking of keeping the chest high and your back arched. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder with apart with toes pointing forwards. As you move down, you will flex at your hips and ensure that your knees are moving directly over the toes. This is incredibly important to ensure that you do not begin to suffer from knee pain after doing this movement.

When lifting a very heavy weight, to avoid placing too much strain on your body, you'll likely only want to go down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. At this point you pause for a second and then drive the weight up once again.

Some key things to think about when doing this movement are to keep your head and chest up at all times and to look straight forward or slightly towards the ceiling. This will help you maintain proper form, which is critical to the prevention of injuries and ensuring you are targeting the right muscles.

A general recommendation is to perform three to five sets of this exercise, aiming for between 3-5 five reps if your sole goal is strength and power and between six and ten reps if your goal is muscular strength and size.

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