Once you've mastered the bodyweight squat, progress the movement with the barbell squat.
- Start with a loaded barbell; 75 pounds is a great starting point. Beginners should start with just the barbell and gradually add weight as they become familiar with the movement.
- Position your hands about shoulder-width apart on the barbell, and lightly grip the bar with an overhand grip.
- Step in front of the rack, and rest the bar on your trapezius muscles (the muscle closest to your neck/upper back).
- With your feet about hip-distance apart, lift the barbell off the rack. Take one to two steps backwards.
- Shift your weight back into your heels. Brace your abs as you begin to lower into a squat, keeping your head and spine in a neutral position. Your knees should be as close to 90 degrees as possible. Hold for one second.
- With your core still braced, drive through your heels to stand back up. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of your squat. That's one rep.