• Published on Apr 14, 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.
  • Howto & StyleHowto & Style

Comments • 1 808

    ATHLEAN-X™  5 months ago +621

    *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 4 days ago

      @Hsitimuh Hella funny yo!

      KARATE MEANS LIFE 5 days ago

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

    • Tiffany Song
      Tiffany Song 3 months ago

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

    • Dennis HP
      Dennis HP 5 months ago


  • Peter Prakash
    Peter Prakash 9 hours ago +1

    this guys a genius

  • B W
    B W Day ago

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

  • tsohgallik
    tsohgallik 2 days ago

    AX ... Anime Expo

  • Xinxin Xu
    Xinxin Xu 3 days ago

    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 2 days ago

      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 4 days ago

    Jeff is a god

  • Paula Stamper
    Paula Stamper 4 days ago

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

  • Mister Dick
    Mister Dick 5 days ago

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

  • Gohar Khan
    Gohar Khan 6 days ago

    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 ? 7 days ago

    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 7 days ago

    What's that a leg extension machine at back

  • Laurel Martone
    Laurel Martone 10 days ago

    Awesome info!! Thank you!!!

  • Treven Flynn
    Treven Flynn 10 days ago

    Should I do this when I poop?

  • Tamara Parreno
    Tamara Parreno 10 days ago

    Loved the thumbnail.

  • Simply Drug Addict
    Simply Drug Addict 11 days ago

    Poor Mrs. hope she's alright

  • Mr Epic
    Mr Epic 12 days ago +2

    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 14 days ago

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

  • Warlord Yams
    Warlord Yams 14 days ago

    Why does his face look muscular?

    • Robert Markoš
      Robert Markoš 13 days ago

      His face got jacked from constant yelling at Jesse

  • Rahul Jha
    Rahul Jha 16 days ago

    Knock knees guys should squat??

  • Jon Goff
    Jon Goff 16 days ago +1

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

  • Mrs B 3030
    Mrs B 3030 17 days ago +2

    'Properly loaded backside'😈 hehehe

  • Amber Clark
    Amber Clark 19 days ago +1

    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 20 days ago

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

  • omejia376
    omejia376 20 days ago +23

    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

  • PetaBread27
    PetaBread27 21 day ago

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

  • puredruid
    puredruid 24 days ago

    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 25 days ago

    Ill be trying this in bout 45 min 😁

  • Master Philip
    Master Philip 25 days ago

    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 22 days ago

      ​@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 23 days ago

      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 26 days ago


  • Russell Thompson
    Russell Thompson Month ago

    great video Jeff!

  • Kevin Boghani
    Kevin Boghani Month ago +2

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

  • Clodomir
    Clodomir Month ago

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

  • Amnell Inspired
    Amnell Inspired Month ago

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

  • Rafael Denny
    Rafael Denny Month ago

    When i see the title : Oh yea, facepull 😂

  • Michael New
    Michael New Month ago

    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 Month ago +1

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

  • asdasdasd dasdasdasd

    One of his few good videos :)

  • Joseph Davis
    Joseph Davis Month ago

    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 Month ago

    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 Month ago

    The Man

  • anand ravi
    anand ravi Month ago

    3.50 exercise may help you better sex.

  • Nerd Bro
    Nerd Bro Month ago

    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 Month ago +1

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

  • Grzybek Lampucerek
    Grzybek Lampucerek 2 months ago

    I thought its quad driven movement 🤔

  • GangGreen80
    GangGreen80 2 months ago

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

  • Mitchell
    Mitchell 2 months ago

    Key: The bar travels straight up and down.

  • angelo lopez
    angelo lopez 2 months ago

    Is doing squats in the smith machine helpful?

  • Eric Kramer
    Eric Kramer 2 months ago +1

    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 2 months ago

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

  • FromBeToReality
    FromBeToReality 2 months ago

    "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 ago

    "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 ago

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

  • Iron Warrior
    Iron Warrior 2 months ago

    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 ago

    You can't activate your glutes without good ankle mobility

  • Joshua Lemire
    Joshua Lemire 2 months ago

    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

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

  • Sami
    Sami 2 months ago

    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 2 months ago

    RIP your nuts...


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

  • Suman Mishra
    Suman Mishra 2 months ago +5

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