• 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 • 1 765

    ATHLEAN-X™   4 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…

    • Tiffany Song
      Tiffany Song  3 months back

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

    • Dennis HP
      Dennis HP  4 months back


    • Aravind Barath
      Aravind Barath  4 months back

      Give your thoughts on One Day A Meal diet

    • Artur D
      Artur D  4 months back

      Hey Jeff! I am really interested what would be your advice (or a plan) how to prepare for workout in terms of warming up and dynamic streching. Can you refer to the video of this guy:?
      I think it is a major stuff for all us out there trying to push hard but still stay out of injuries.

    • Adetokunbo ADEKOYA
      Adetokunbo ADEKOYA  4 months back

      Hi Jeff, I just want to ask about the pull up bar you use at home( the one that is in one of your videos ). I would like to know where you got it from.

  • Russell Thompson
    Russell Thompson  5 days back

    great video Jeff!

    • Kevin Boghani
      Kevin Boghani  1 weeks 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  1 weeks back

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

        • Amnell Inspired
          Amnell Inspired  2 weeks 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 weeks back

            When i see the title : Oh yea, facepull 😂

            • Michael New
              Michael New  2 weeks back

              Wow, Jeff just described my squat form. I didn't even realize it was so bad until this video. Jeff Cavalier, thank you so much for your passion in fitness, and thank you for giving this training for free!

              • Santiago Velasco
                Santiago Velasco  2 weeks back

                Holy crap... Jeff just explains things very well. I'm speechless. Arigato gozaimasu, sensei!

                • asdasdasd dasdasdasd
                  asdasdasd dasdasdasd  3 weeks back

                  One of his few good videos :)

                  • Joseph Davis
                    Joseph Davis  3 weeks back

                    Getting to the point that watching his vids is almost overwhelming! Jeff drops SO much knowledge in SO little time here, I'm gonna have to watch it over - like the OTHER umpteen vids on his website..........btw, Day 5 of Max/Size is gonna REALLY light me up! Sore as all get-out, but it's the good kinda sore.... THIS man makes me LOVE lifting.

                    • Leo Matsuoka
                      Leo Matsuoka  3 weeks back

                      I subscribed to him months ago and a couple months ago I clicked on a video that looked like it was his and remembered he exsisted. I thank you athlean x clone

                      • Robert Wilson
                        Robert Wilson  4 weeks back

                        The Man

                        • anand ravi
                          anand ravi  4 weeks back

                          3.50 exercise may help you better sex.

                          • Nerd Bro
                            Nerd Bro  4 weeks back

                            This was really helpful for me, I was having knee pain aggravated by squats but didn’t understand why. Thanks, very informative!

                            • Bob Houghton
                              Bob Houghton  4 weeks back

                              Cute how Jeff pretends to be out of breath to be relatable.

                              • Grzybek Lampucerek
                                Grzybek Lampucerek  1 months back

                                I thought its quad driven movement 🤔

                                • GangGreen80
                                  GangGreen80  1 months back

                                  So long story short do hip thrusts to avoid leaning forward during squats

                                  • Mitchell
                                    Mitchell  1 months back

                                    Key: The bar travels straight up and down.

                                    • angelo lopez
                                      angelo lopez  1 months back

                                      Is doing squats in the smith machine helpful?

                                      • Eric Kramer
                                        Eric Kramer  1 months back

                                        Jeff....would a squat thruster help train proper form. I could see someone dropping the dumbbells if they lean forward due to gluteal inaction....

                                        • Rodger Quinn
                                          Rodger Quinn  1 months back

                                          This is EXACTLY what I do as I get more tired during squats.

                                          • FromBeToReality
                                            FromBeToReality  2 months back

                                            "don't make it a big deal." THAT'S EXACTLY what i've been doing AND NOT warming up the knee. been more of a mental/neurological issue than anything else. thought it was not good going all the way down. feared it. didn't want injury. THANKS FOR REMOVING MY FEAR THROUGH EDUCATING ME ...

                                            • FromBeToReality
                                              FromBeToReality  2 months back

                                              "don't make it a big deal." THAT'S EXACTLY what i've been doing AND NOT warming up the knee. been more of a mental/neurological issue than anything else. thought it was not good going all the way down. feared it. didn't want injury. THANKS FOR REMOVING MY FEAR THROUGH EDUCATING ME ...

                                              • Bilb Ono
                                                Bilb Ono  2 months back

                                                when a dude named Jeff on youtube tells me to do something in the gym, I do it

                                                • Iron Warrior
                                                  Iron Warrior  2 months back

                                                  I always do walking lunges and stiff legged deadlifts before squatting. And it’s improved my mobility and strength. It’s also been very successful for 90% of my clients.

                                                  • Andy Evans
                                                    Andy Evans  2 months back

                                                    You can't activate your glutes without good ankle mobility

                                                    • Joshua Lemire
                                                      Joshua Lemire  2 months back

                                                      One thing I like to do warming up the squat and feeling the right range of motion is to unrack the bar and walk it to the back of the rack so the bar is pressing the back columns. Since the path is supposed to be vertical, I like to get a feel of a perfect vertical range of motion with the bar sliding the back of the rack (hardly any force though, just enough to know it is touching the back rack)

                                                      • João Paulo Moura Leite
                                                        João Paulo Moura Leite  2 months back

                                                        I feel a pinch in the squat-hip insertion... What warm up should I do?

                                                        • Sami
                                                          Sami  2 months back

                                                          Hey Jeff.

                                                          I had a surgery to the right ankle (reconstruction after 2 ripped ligament and multiple fractures, damn soccer...) and I have now more stability, but don’t have as much flexibility than before. Barely can get my knee to my toes level...

                                                          I definitely can’t get that low without opening the right foot to the exterior or getting my knee going inside (valgus I think)...

                                                          How would you suggest me to adapt the squat knowing my limitation?

                                                          Thanks!!! 👌

                                                          • 1WINDSHEAR
                                                            1WINDSHEAR  2 months back

                                                            RIP your nuts...

                                                            • THE FUTURE OF STRONGMAN UK

                                                              Your a legend Jeff I have had injuries on both my knees and have avoided doing squats

                                                              • Suman Mishra
                                                                Suman Mishra  2 months back

                                                                Been struggling with squats. Such an aha moment! Love it when someone can explain things simply yet scientifically. Jeff's work is gold.

                                                                • TURUNCU BARAKA
                                                                  TURUNCU BARAKA  2 months back

                                                                  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.

                                                                  • Kirkowirko
                                                                    Kirkowirko  2 months back

                                                                    Can I use the leg curl machine to substitute for those hip thrusts? In case it’s not available

                                                                    • Insomniac Owl
                                                                      Insomniac Owl  2 months back

                                                                      Lmao how much do you squat 😂

                                                                      • 1961lindmikea
                                                                        1961lindmikea  2 months back

                                                                        Squat with or without your Orthopedic knee brace

                                                                        • Human Error
                                                                          Human Error  2 months back

                                                                          Let your ass lead the way,got it.I'd do this but that means I have to change the weight and take the bar down and then back to the squat rack.. Too much work.

                                                                          • David Butt
                                                                            David Butt  2 months back

                                                                            I usually do kettlebell thrusts. I'll have to try this next time.

                                                                            • shadow19831
                                                                              shadow19831  2 months back

                                                                              I clicked to know why i must make that cringey ass face in the thumbnail every time i squat.

                                                                              • D Bechtel
                                                                                D Bechtel  2 months back

                                                                                Thumbnail= Felt cute, might squat later, I dunno

                                                                                • Tabitha's dumb-dumbs
                                                                                  Tabitha's dumb-dumbs  2 months back

                                                                                  Might face pull later i dunno... no wait I'm definitely doing face pulls later

                                                                              • Pharmathlete
                                                                                Pharmathlete  2 months back

                                                                                I have no issues Squating in my hips or knee flexion but I'll definitely try it looks amazing like warm up 👍🏽 appreciated the video

                                                                                • Peter Finfrock
                                                                                  Peter Finfrock  2 months back

                                                                                  Interesting tip. Will try this at my next squat workout

                                                                                  • risspartan117
                                                                                    risspartan117  2 months back

                                                                                    Next question, how do I stop the bar from squashing my balls when doing hip thrusts? No, seriously...

                                                                                    • ScepticMatt
                                                                                      ScepticMatt  2 months back

                                                                                      Use a bar pad, ideally one with a notch where your balls would be

                                                                                  • Nicholas Bowen
                                                                                    Nicholas Bowen  2 months back

                                                                                    Why is this I’m squatting 405 rn and I’m 180 but whenever I go down it’s harder for me then going up why is that ik my legs r strong enough to get 445 but I can’t go down all the way on 445

                                                                                    • Teacher Phill
                                                                                      Teacher Phill  2 months back

                                                                                      There is definitely a reason why this is the biggest fitness channel on YouTube. Thanks for all the good stuff!

                                                                                      • Billy
                                                                                        Billy  2 months back

                                                                                        Your videos are awesome, helping a lot with my correct mechanics as well as passing the correct knowledge and not bro science!

                                                                                        • renata brogno
                                                                                          renata brogno  2 months back

                                                                                          Very very helpful, THKS

                                                                                          • Marissa Sanchez
                                                                                            Marissa Sanchez  2 months back

                                                                                            Hey!. I did thrusters today!!