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How To Do The Bodyweight Squat Exercise

Bodyweight squats are a great way to help strengthen and develop your quadriceps (front of your upper thighs), hamstrings, buttocks, and lower back. Nothing beats the squat for developing and shaping your lower body. The great thing about bodyweight squats is that the movement will help with your balance in addition to toning and shaping your lower body. 

It may take a few tries to get comfortable with the movement but over time you will improve your balance and technique which will allow you to get the most benefit from the bodyweight squat. 

How to do the bodyweight squat exercise - Starting position

How to do the bodyweight squat exercise - Bottom position

Position for the bodyweight squat exercise

With your feet at shoulder width apart, stand with your back straight and head level. Pull your shoulders back and down and puff your chest out. You will also want to arch your back slightly. Looking straight ahead, pick a spot on the wall and focus in on it. You will be looking at that spot on the wall as you perform the exercise.  Keep your heels flat on the floor as you perform the bodyweight squat exercise.

How to perform the bodyweight squat exercise

Slowly bend at the knees keeping your back straight and looking forward (the spot on the wall). You can either keep your arms at your sides or folded in front of you. Squat until your knees are just above parallel, pause for a moment and using your thighs, push your body back up to the start position. Repeat as needed.


Breathe in as you squat down and breathe out as you squat back up.  

Important points for the bodyweight squat exercise

• Do not round your back. Keep your back as straight as possible bending at the knees and keeping your hips in proper position. Folding your arms in front of your chest will help keep your shoulders back and down while keeping your back straight.

• Do not look down. By looking down you will lose your balance and allow your shoulders to move forward. This will round your back and throw off your posture. 

• Keep your feet squarely on the ground. Your stance should be natural (toes pointed slightly outward).

• Do not bounce at the bottom of the movement. Squat, pause and propel yourself upwards back into the start position. 

Video for the bodyweight squat exercise

Related Exercises:

The Bodyweight Lunge Exercise

The Wall Sit Exercise

Dumbbell Stair Step Up Exercise

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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