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How To Place Your Hands for Squats

Because the squat is one of the most complicated compound exercises, people often have a hard time focusing on all the little details during the movement.

A proper technique is essential for safety and effective muscle building. This article will discuss how you should situate yourself for the squat and the proper technique.

An important part of the squat is where you place your hands on the bar, and this will also be discussed at length.

Read on to find out how you can perfect you squat technique and make it one of the most effective exercises in your arsenal!

To start, unrack the weight and place you feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Your toes should be slightly pointed outwards and your abdominals should be tight. To avoid bringing your knees ahead of your feet, stick your butt out as far as possible while keeping your chest up and sit back in a slow, controlled manner.

Watch your knees as you lower and stop when your hip joint is as far below your knee joint as possible. This is called the bottom of the squat or the “hole”.  Pausing in the hole for a couple of seconds can be a great way to stretch out your muscles, so consider this during your warm up sets.

Explode upwards, keeping your chest up and knees perpendicular to the floor. Focus on driving your hips upwards during this part of the movement. Practicing this movement often will ensure that you avoid injury and get as much out of the exercise as you possibly can.

An important detail that I have not mentioned yet is your hand position on the bar and your grip. Where your hands are placed can have a significant impact on your balance and the amount of power you produce in the upwards portion of the movement.

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Traditionally, your hands should be placed a little wider than shoulder width apart on the bar. If you are unsure or new to the squat, use the rings on the barbell as a guide – your pinky finger should be the closest to the ring.

Once you get comfortable under the bar, you can adjust your hand placement as you see fit. You should grip the bar using all four fingers and your thumb. Some people prefer a “suicide” grip – or a thumbless grip. This does not provide much stability and can be quite dangerous.

Your hand placement will obviously differ dramatically if you are performing front squats. With the bar resting on your deltoids or biceps, your hands will naturally fall closer than shoulder width apart.

To increase flexibility, you also may wish to grip the bar using only your four fingers. Be sure to watch as many videos of proper squat technique as possible because your grip and hand placement is critical.

Hopefully this article has helped you understand the correct hand placement and grip for the barbell squat and has encouraged you to read as much as you can about the proper technique. Keep practicing and working hard and you will perfect it in no time!

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