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Unable to grasp bar doing a back barbell squat?

4 min read

Asked by: Elizabeth Powell

Can’t Hold Onto The Bar When Low Bar Squatting? (7 Tips)

  • Try a Narrower Grip.
  • Ensure You’ve Found Your “Rear Delt Shelf”
  • Bring The Barbell Up on Your Back Slightly.
  • Increase The Musculature of Your Upper Back.
  • Slightly Flare Your Elbows Back.
  • Work On Your Shoulder & Wrist Mobility.
  • Focus On Your Torso Angle.

How do you hold the bar when doing back squats?

Way down on your back and it works better when your elbows are in like this because that's both going to hug your body and it's going to put your shoulder in the right position.

Should you squeeze the bar when squatting?

In order to maintain this position under load and avoid bending the wrist back too far (which can cause pain in the wrist), we should actively engage the hands by squeezing the bar. Squeezing the bar is one of the cues I mentioned in my article on 9 Squat Cues To Improve Your Technique.

What to do if you can’t do back squats?

They also make excellent assistance exercises for people who can squat, but need to address weak points or want variety.

  1. Trap Bar Deadlifts.
  2. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats.
  3. Barbell Hip Thrusts.
  4. Weighted Step Ups.
  5. Step Downs & Single Leg Squats.
  6. Skater Squats.
  7. Goblet Squats.


Where should you hold the bar when doing squats?

So where should you put the bar when squatting? The optimal position is going to be where the bar sits directly in line with the mid part of the foot when you’re at the bottom of the squat. Depending on how much forward lean you have with your torso, the bar position might be higher or lower on your back.

Why does the bar hurt my back when I squat?

When the bar is bothering your back, try positioning it differently. A higher bar position—at the base of the neck—requires good mobility in the upper back, hips, and ankles to keep the torso vertical during the squat.

How do I activate my butt for squats?

Squat down by pushing your hips back, not down, until your thighs are parallel with the floor. This will force the glutes to activate to stop the downward momentum. Stand up by pushing back against the bar with your shoulders before straightening your legs.

Should you push your hips back when squatting?

The first movement of a squat should always be pushing your hips back behind you. From a tall starting position (feet hip to shoulder width apart, 80% of your weight on your heels), slide you butt backwards as though you were sitting down on a low chair. Don’t be afraid to let your trunk angle forward (see photo).

Should I spread the floor when squatting?

For the squat:



Once you’ve walked the bar out, stabilize and grip the floor with the feet. Then squeeze the glutes and think about spreading the floor out by contracting the full leg musculature. As you descend then ascend, maintain this tension and keep working to “spread” the floor.

How much should I squat if I weigh 160?

Squat Strength Standards

Body Weight Untrained Novice
165 70 130
181 75 140
198 80 150
199+ 85 160

Are front squats better than back squats?

Back squats allow you to add weight quicker, which promotes strength and power. While front squats can also help to promote strength and power — although not as quickly — they’re a great exercise for developing the quads. So, if aesthetics are your goal, consider prioritizing front squats.

What muscles does the back squat work?

The back squat target muscles in the posterior chain, including:

  • Lower back.
  • Glutes.
  • Hamstrings.
  • Quadriceps.
  • Core muscles.


How do you hold a barbell?

First is to slide the bar down your hand until it makes contact with the top of the base of your palm. Next is to turn your hand in slightly.

How do you do bar squats?

Same again find that position brace. And then rise right back up avoiding driving the knees. Too far out knees need to still track over the toes. And use that breathing. To drive back up.

How do you properly do a squat?

Bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips at the same rate to lower into the squat. Keep your hips square, your torso upright, and your spine neutral throughout the movement. Engage your glutes, and push through your heels to stand up.

How do you hold the bar for front squats?

Hold the bar with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Step in close to the bar and lower into a quarter squat so the bar is level and touching the top of your chest and front of your shoulders. Without letting go of the bar, bring your elbows forwards and up as high as you can manage.

How much should I squat if I weigh 160?

Squat Strength Standards

Body Weight Untrained Novice
165 70 130
181 75 140
198 80 150
199+ 85 160

What is a sissy squat?

The sissy squat is a top exercise for building quads, working on your hip flexors and strengthening your core simultaneously. It involves locking your feet in a fixed position and leaning right back, with the tension on your thighs, before bringing yourself up again – most easily completed with a Sissy Squat Bench.