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Half Squats - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Quads
Secondary Muscles Worked: Glutes, Calves, Hamstrings and Lower Back

Half Squats develop extra mass and power in the thighs. The exercise also targets the calves, glutes, hamstrings and lower back. One of the major benefits of this particular Squats exercise is that you only have to go halfway allowing you to lift more weight.

Half Squats - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Align yourself under a barbell on a squat rack.
  • Spread your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart and your toes are turned outwards.
  • Place the barbell across the back of your shoulders.
  • Brace your core and lift the bar off the rack and step back from the apparatus.
  • Keep your back straight throughout the exercise, ensuring that you keep the natural curve of the lower back.
  • Inhale and lower the weight to the point that you are halfway to parallel.
  • Exhale and push the barbell up to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the entire rep range.

Half Squats - Tips & Safety

  • Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
  • Use the collars on the sides of the barbell and keep your back straight while maintaining the lower curve of the spine at all times. Make sure you keep your head up to prevent excess strain on your spine.
  • Due to the nature of this exercise allowing you to use extra weights, it may be beneficial to use a towel or cushioning between the barbell and the back of your shoulders to avoid unneccessary and painful compression on the back of your shoulders

Half Squats - Alternatives

  • Changing your foot placement emphasises different parts of the quads, adding variety to your training.
  • Dumbbell half squats can be used if you have or a prone to back problems.
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