Powerlifting squat - technique, differences from bodybuilding

The squat in powerlifting has a significant difference from the squat in bodybuilding. For bodybuilding, it is important to work out the target muscles, while the rest of the muscles must be turned off. In powerlifting, it is important to give a powerful impulse to lift as much weight as possible, which means that all possible muscles must be involved in order to create this impulse.

Squat depth

In bodybuilding, as a rule, the squat is the movement of the pelvis to the level parallel to the floor, the angle in the knee joints will be approximately equal to 90 degrees. It all depends on the flexibility of the athlete, that is, he crouches to that level, while he can maintain sipnu exactly.

If flexibility is not enough, the athlete can squat even a little higher than the parallel. Or choose other exercises for developing the muscles of the lower body.

Powerlifting squat - technique, differences from bodybuilding

In the case of powerlifting, the squat is an obligatory competitive element. It continues to a level just below the knees. In addition, powerlifting involves the use of maximum weights.

This entails some difficulties. During a squat to the level of parallel, it is easy to follow the technique and keep the back, legs, and knees motionless. When the athlete lowers the pelvis below the level of parallelism, then problems begin: the back is not held upright, the knees begin to go forward, your body "folds" by itself.

Powerlifting squat - technique, differences from bodybuilding

To overcome these problems, the athlete must have good flexibility, as well as a large supply of energy not only in the muscles of the legs, but also in the muscles of the back. Only in this case will the correct execution and a powerful push be obtained.

Energy saving when lifting the bar

To perform squats in powerlifting, you need to maximize your back and leg muscles and follow the rules of powerlifting squats to the smallest detail. If you want to achieve good results and lift record weights, then you should first focus on technology.

The path to the records begins with trifles, so it is very important to be able to save your strength for maximum return in the squat. First of all, you need to learn how to save your strength when removing the bar from the racks and when leaving with her to the place of the exercise.

Many beginners, and sometimes quite experienced athletes, remove the barbell from the racks and begin to make too many extra movements with the barbell on their shoulders, which takes a lot forces.

That is why you should learn how to properly remove the bar with a working weight from the racks:

  1. Go to the bar and stand so that it is in the usual position on the upper back (neck should lie on the trapezium). Legs should be in line with the bar, feet should be placed shoulder width or slightly wider, toes slightly to the sides.
  2. Take a deep breath and try to push the diaphragm forward. Gently and at the same time, powerfully remove the bar from the racks by the force of the legs.
  3. To be fully prepared for the squat, you will need to move 2 steps away from the racks if you are crouching with narrow legs, or 3 steps if the legs are wide.

  4. Now let's go directly to the squat. You need to perform a squat so that the pelvis is below the knees. The squat itself resembles the squat on a chair with its movements. The pelvis is first maximally bent back, then the legs are bent at the knees. It is important to stand on the floor with your whole foot and not bring your knees in.

    The knee joints move strictly in the plane of the feet.

  5. When the desired squat depth is reached, with a powerful push of the gluteal muscles and legs, return the body to its original position.

In no case do not remove the barbell with a sharp movement, your spine will not really like it. There will be unnecessary compression, in addition, the bar itself will begin to move from side to side, which will negatively affect the withdrawal - you will have to balance and spend the extra energy.

To practice the squat technique, it will be useful to practice squatting with a barbell on a box or bench.

Constantly ensure that the center of gravity is in the heels and the knees are in the plane of the feet.

Main mistakes

Powerlifting is a technically demanding sport. And a squat is a rather difficult exercise. Athletes who have recently chosen powerlifting make a lot of mistakes in the squat. Here are the most common ones:

  • High position of the bar on the trapezoid - this will create an additional lever that will deflect your body from the correct position.

  • A lot of unnecessary movements after taking weight from the racks, as mentioned above, this creates an additional leakage of body energy.
  • Flipping the body forward - this happens due to the lack of the necessary level of flexibility or with weak muscles of the lower back.
  • Knees bend first. The first should retract the pelvis.
  • The squat is performed at insufficient depth.

  • When lifting, the knees go inwards - this is possible in the case when the adductors and abductors of the thighs are developed harmoniously.
  • Too abrupt movements: abrupt lowering and pushing from a low position. This error often leads to injury to the athlete.
  • The head is tilted too far forward or backward. You should look exclusively straight, this will keep your back straight.

  • Excessively narrow or wide arms on the bar. With a narrow setting, the load on the elbow joints increases significantly, a wide setting reduces the level of weight control.

If you eradicate all of the above errors, then your squat technique will improve significantly. And this will entail an increase in working weights and a lower risk of injury.

Exercises to help improve your squat

When preparing for a powerlifting competition, your workouts should be comprehensive.

You can not train only with squats.

Let's consider a few exercises that will help strengthen the whole body:

  1. Squats with a barbell on the chest - will help to develop quadriceps.
  2. Squats with a delay - this exercise differs from regular squats with a barbell in that at the lower point you should linger for a couple of seconds, and then get up at the highest possible speed.
  3. Half squats - adjust the height of the bench or place a stack of pancakes in such a way that getting up from them was as uncomfortable as possible.
  4. Tilts with a barbell on the shoulders - allows you to hone the squat technique with the pelvis back and strengthen the lumbar spine.

To achieve a good result, it is very important to diversify the training. This will strengthen all the muscles involved in both the lift squat and in other competitive exercises.


To lift large weights and to avoid injuries, athletes can use different equipment for powerlifting. These are mainly bandages and coveralls. Please note that the use of equipment slightly changes the biomechanics of movements.

You need to change your squat technique so that the elasticity of the jumpsuit and bandages helps you.

At the moment, powerlifting is widespread and there are a lot of equipment manufacturers, so you need to look for what suits you. Remember that the equipment differs from each other in terms of rigidity and quality. Do not save on your health, it is better to spend a decent amount of money once, but do not be afraid that the equipment will let you down.



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