User-Friendly Squats

Posted on by Ben Bruno

I had a new article published on T-Nation yesterday sharing tips to make squats more user-friendly.

As great of an exercise as squats may be, they’re not very user-friendly.

For an exercise to be considered user-friendly in my book, it has to meet three criteria:

1. You have to be able to do it well.

Most people suck at squatting. If you’re looking for evidence to back up this claim, just walk into just about any gym around and watch people squat. It’s ugly.

2. Your joints have to be able to tolerate it.

If you have any knee or lower back issues, chances are heavy squats exacerbate them.

3. It has to give you to training effect you’re looking for.

Powerlifters aside, most people squat for quad development. However, the manner in which they execute the squats doesn’t do a very good of working the quads and turns it more into a posterior chain exercise.

With that in mind, here are some ways to make squats more user-friendly.

Read the article HERE.

  • Ralph

    Great Vid!! what are you using to hold on to on your front squats?
    Good luck in Cal

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks! I’m using lifting straps because I find it much easier to hold the bar in the rack position.

  • Joe

    Great tips, Ben, and glad to see that someone else needs those straps to properly get the bar (and body) in the right position.


  • MG

    back squats only hurt if you do them wrong. the correct way is taught by mark rippetoe.

    ben, do us all a favour and learn to back squat correctly. then report back to your tnation readers.

    • mat

      Oh, you mean the ONE correct way to squat?
      No better place to be dogmatic and close-minded than training business – because, like, everyone’s the same anyway, right?

      • MG

        I’ve just seen Ben’s TNation article “Quad Killers”; I completely retract my earlier comments. Ben is the real deal!

  • Dave Haupert

    That’s a great idea to use lifting straps in that manner- I thought you were using some new type of bar with built in handles at first! I’m going to try that this week on leg day. Hope you’re getting settled in your new location- thanks for this great blog!