• Published: 14 April 2019
  • The squat is one of the most important exercises you can include in your leg training. That said, if you experience knee pain while doing it or just don’t have the strength you think you should with this staple leg exercise, then you need to watch this video. I’m going to show you one thing you need to do before any squat that will instantly help you decrease knee discomfort and put more weight on the bar as you realize your true strength.

    The effectiveness of this relies on the dysfunctional recruitment of the posterior chain (namely the glutes and hamstrings) that most of us have from muscle imbalances we have developed over time. When you perform a squat you need to be able to load the muscles on the back side of our bodies to handle as much weight as we are capable of. All too often, we tend to shift the load too much to the anterior chain muscles which winds up hurting our knees and limiting the amount of weight we can lift.

    There are two major requirements of a properly performed squat biomechanically. You need to have proper amounts of knee flexion and hip flexion. One without the other can lead to one ugly looking squat. That said, if you can marry the two and optimize the contributions of each you are going to have a squat that is not only capable of handling maximal loads but is going to do so as safely as possible on your joints.

    That said, since we know the squat is a glute driven movement it makes sense that in order to neurologically wake up the posterior chain we would want to perform a quick warmup with an exercise that does so directly. In this case, it’s a weighted glute bridge or a barbell hip thrust depending on your available hip range of motion and level of training experience.

    I like to start everyone on the floor if they have not done this exercise prior to squats before. The key to the effectiveness of the movement is that it trains the glutes to be the primary driver of hip extension while working in concert with the hamstrings (which is their secondary function). With both the knees and hips in flexion, we are better mimicking the true function of the lower body during the squats.

    When you perform your weighted bridge you want to be sure that you are feeling the hinge take place in your hips. A lot of times, the proprioceptive awareness of what true hip hinging should feel like is lacking. This leads to an overreliance on the quads to try and take the brunt of the load on the squat. After performing the bridge however, the glutes are more prepared to allow the posterior loading of the body during the descent. Likewise, the hamstrings are more alert to their role as eccentric controllers of hip flexion during the down portion of the squat and are therefore more capable of giving you stability that you have not had.

    On the way up, the activation of the glutes provides you with keys to the ignition of the main driver of the ascent on the squat. While the quads are important for getting out of the hole, it’s the glutes that are primarily responsible (with their immense strength capacity) for getting you up and out with minimal disruption to your bar path. Those with weak glutes will demonstrate ugly looking squat form out of the whole. Often times, these guys and gals will lurch their bodies forward, raising the hips and shifting the load to their low backs to compromise for their weaknesses in the glutes.

    Over time, this will lead to chronic low back pain and is completely avoidable.

    A couple sets of 6-8 reps of the barbell glute bridge or barbell hip thrust with a 4 second hold at the top is enough to warm up the body to perform the squat to your maximum potential. Neurologically this will allow you to tap into strength reserves you never knew you had all while building up your volume over time through your other leg training on the glutes and posterior chain muscles.

    If you are looking for a step by step program that never overlooks the importance of the glutes when it comes to athletic performance and obtaining your most powerful physique, head to the link below and check out the ATHLEAN-X Training System.

    For more videos on how to build a bigger squat as well as the best way to strengthen your glutes and avoid red flags for weak glute development, be sure to subscribe to our channel at the link below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a video when it’s published.
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Comments • 1 829

    ATHLEAN-X™   6 months back

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them :) Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • Just Gator
      Just Gator  1 months back

      @Hsitimuh Hella funny yo!

      KARATE MEANS LIFE  1 months back

      Sir how can a man do this exercise won't he get you know his Grapefruits crushed?

    • Tiffany Song
      Tiffany Song  5 months back

      80 USD for 100iu HGH ( No brand , you know what i mean )

    • Dennis HP
      Dennis HP  6 months back


  • Ant P
    Ant P  1 days back

    G'day Jeff, love your work mate. I am a 'hard gainer' with a bad knee and ankle and... well, you get it. Human..
    Your advice and recovery techniques are great.
    I like your reverse step lunge for my knees and will definitely add this.
    I have started your full body program every 2nd day and am incorporating the elastics face pulls, shoulder activation exercises and feel the difference.
    Now I just need to be consistent.

    • Josh Nguyen
      Josh Nguyen  1 days back

      The way he says "awaken" at 3:02 just sounds so epic to me for some reason, like he's speaking of some muscle building prophecy lol.

      • Zetsuke4
        Zetsuke4  2 days back

        Great explanation

        • Zetsuke4
          Zetsuke4  2 days back

          Very very informative

          • Vaibhav Jain
            Vaibhav Jain  1 weeks back

            Please make a video on how to do hip thrust property.

            • chad connors
              chad connors  2 weeks back

              Jeff, what is a good shoulder stretch? I want to get my arms a little further back when I squat?

              • WookiesYaUncle
                WookiesYaUncle  2 weeks back

                Is it true some of us can't squat properly. I can't unless my legs are far apart. Otherwise I fall backwards if I try keep my heels on floor.?

                • superman3000
                  superman3000  3 weeks back

                  Adidas pants and nike trainers... mate sort of out

                  • brenmangood
                    brenmangood  3 weeks back

                    Seeing this video might help me realize why I always hurt my back when I try to add weight to the bar. I've never been able to squat more than 95 pounds without feeling something bad in my lower back. I was training consistently for 3 years straight and still could not get over this squat/low back pain problem. I squat nowadays, I just keep it very light. I'm also not consistent for about a year. Also, "butt wink" could be a problem.

                    • Kosy Obiagazie
                      Kosy Obiagazie  3 weeks back

                      My feets keep moving forward each time i try to press through my heels during glute bridges

                      • Zealocity
                        Zealocity  3 weeks back

                        Being a Strength Coach myself, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE how Jeff just explained the function of the hamstrings and improving Glute firing for a better and stronger squat! Love this channel, always <3

                        • Syarizan Mustapa
                          Syarizan Mustapa  4 weeks back

                          When u say squat is a glutes exercise pretty much explains everything on how to do squat. Thanks!

                          • Red Falcon
                            Red Falcon  4 weeks back

                            I can't fit under my barbell. My glutes are too big. Now what?

                            • Red Falcon
                              Red Falcon  3 weeks back

                              @BoastfulCookie. Thanks. I will try that.

                            • BoastfulCookie
                              BoastfulCookie  3 weeks back

                              Red Falcon prop the bar up a bit by placing some plates on the ground under the plates on the barbell

                          • Moses Soto
                            Moses Soto  4 weeks back

                            Thank you Jeff, I’m going to try this. My hip has been hurting me in the hole position. Hope this helps me.

                            • Peter Prakash
                              Peter Prakash  4 weeks back

                              this guys a genius

                              • B W
                                B W  1 months back

                                should the warmup be heavy? like should we be feeling it or just to turn the muscles on?

                                • tsohgallik
                                  tsohgallik  1 months back

                                  AX ... Anime Expo

                                  • Xinxin Xu
                                    Xinxin Xu  1 months back

                                    How can u guys put those thing on the part of your...u know, the most important male part?
                                    I’m seriously wondering.

                                    • random guy
                                      random guy  1 months back

                                      if you do it right, the bar is just slightly above your dingeling. it's on the part above it and that's a lot of bones. if you do them in that way with something under it it doesn't hurt

                                  • PuffTheMagicHobo
                                    PuffTheMagicHobo  1 months back

                                    Jeff is a god

                                    • Paula Stamper
                                      Paula Stamper  1 months back

                                      For someone that has never done this what is a good weight to start with

                                      • Richard Bielut
                                        Richard Bielut  1 months back

                                        All movements are glute movements....even the bench press

                                        • Gohar Khan
                                          Gohar Khan  1 months back

                                          Hey jeff I have good squat technique but there is one problem, whenever i do squat the bar is never straight on my back. Its tilted towards my left shoulder. Can you please focus on this issue?

                                          • is it ? was it ?
                                            is it ? was it ?  1 months back

                                            Recently diagnosed with arthritis in the hip which has effected my range of movement leading to difficulties doing squats .. have you any advice regarding exercises to help improve on range of movement please ?

                                            • Darrell
                                              Darrell  1 months back

                                              What's that a leg extension machine at back

                                              • Laurel Martone
                                                Laurel Martone  1 months back

                                                Awesome info!! Thank you!!!

                                                • Treven Flynn
                                                  Treven Flynn  1 months back

                                                  Should I do this when I poop?

                                                  • Tamara Parreno
                                                    Tamara Parreno  1 months back

                                                    Loved the thumbnail.

                                                    • Simply Drug Addict
                                                      Simply Drug Addict  1 months back

                                                      Poor Mrs. hope she's alright

                                                      • Mr Epic
                                                        Mr Epic  1 months back

                                                        I poo myself everytime i do squats. It makes me get up and stop the squishy mess on my pants from getting worse.

                                                        • christopher Calder
                                                          christopher Calder  1 months back

                                                          Awesome! Thank you, just what I needed to hear!

                                                          • fit yams
                                                            fit yams  1 months back

                                                            Why does his face look muscular?

                                                            • Robert Markoš
                                                              Robert Markoš  1 months back

                                                              His face got jacked from constant yelling at Jesse

                                                          • Rahul Jha
                                                            Rahul Jha  2 months back

                                                            Knock knees guys should squat??

                                                            • Jon Goff
                                                              Jon Goff  2 months back

                                                              Thank you, I needed that info to keep useing my squat routine!

                                                              • Mrs B 3030
                                                                Mrs B 3030  2 months back

                                                                'Properly loaded backside'😈 hehehe

                                                                • Amber Clark
                                                                  Amber Clark  2 months back

                                                                  Gonna try! My problem is on light weight I can squat fine but heavy weight I keep lifting my toes and it drives me nute

                                                                  • Red Ensign
                                                                    Red Ensign  2 months back

                                                                    How can you focus building muscle down by the knee. Don't want carrot stick legs.

                                                                    • omejia376
                                                                      omejia376  2 months back

                                                                      I trust this man so much that I feel like if he told me to slap someone before a workout that it would max my gains I would definitely do it. Truly trust this man

                                                                      • Jimmy Xiong
                                                                        Jimmy Xiong  2 days back


                                                                      • Dusten Cross
                                                                        Dusten Cross  2 weeks back

                                                                        Jeff made me leave my kids in a Walmart parking lot.... Something about a deload week?? Man i feel grate now!!

                                                                      • Matthew Hood
                                                                        Matthew Hood  1 months back


                                                                    • PetaBread27
                                                                      PetaBread27  2 months back

                                                                      Glute raises/bridges are the TRUTH. It is the one execrise I wish I started doing from High School.

                                                                      • puredruid
                                                                        puredruid  2 months back

                                                                        Glute bridges combined with light weight RDL really help wake up the hamstrings and glutes. Following this I like to do a step up on to a chair or platform in a sort of slow controlled lunge motion for 1-2 minutes each leg. By then you'll have a nice full leg pump ready to deadlift / squat.

                                                                        • d 2
                                                                          d 2  2 months back

                                                                          Ill be trying this in bout 45 min 😁

                                                                          • Master Philip
                                                                            Master Philip  2 months back

                                                                            Squatting and deadlifting has always been complicated for me. It always feels "unnatural". Either I feel too much pressure on my lower back, or my quads are doing all the work etc etc. I'm gonna try this the next time I hit the gym.

                                                                            • Master Philip
                                                                              Master Philip  2 months back

                                                                              ​@Larissa Dueck unfortunately no... I do agree kinda with what you say. I think I need to activate my glutes more

                                                                            • Larissa Dueck
                                                                              Larissa Dueck  2 months back

                                                                              Have you had someone assess your deadlifts and squats? It kinda sounds like glute amnesia. But it's tough to say

                                                                          • Kingston Geldenhuys
                                                                            Kingston Geldenhuys  2 months back


                                                                            • Russell Thompson
                                                                              Russell Thompson  2 months back

                                                                              great video Jeff!

                                                                              • Kevin Boghani
                                                                                Kevin Boghani  2 months back

                                                                                Exactly what I needed, knees caving in and hips rising too fast on heavier load, it's like he saw me squat

                                                                                • Clodomir
                                                                                  Clodomir  2 months back

                                                                                  So is squat àa posterior chain exercice or an anterior chain ?? Much confused

                                                                                  • Amnell Inspired
                                                                                    Amnell Inspired  2 months back

                                                                                    This is so helpful, was hurting my knees with squats and wondering what was going wrong. Thanks so much!

                                                                                    • Rafael Denny
                                                                                      Rafael Denny  2 months back

                                                                                      When i see the title : Oh yea, facepull 😂