Tip: Tall? Squat Like This

If you're on the lanky side, this is a better leg builder than the back squat.


For building mass, squats are king. However, when long-limbed hardgainers try to back squat, it often looks like an ugly good morning. Switching to a safety squat bar (holding the squat rack) is a game changer.

The Benefits

  • The padded yoke takes stress off your shoulders.
  • The bar design moves the weight forward like a front squat. This means less stress on your spine and more on your quads.
  • Holding the rack helps you keep a more upright torso. This makes your squat look more like the pretty squats of someone with a good squat structure. It also adds some extra stability to the lift, which lets you lift more weight for more reps.

Performance Tips

  • For big legs, don't sit back like a powerlifter. Instead, spread your knees and sit down.
  • Drive your traps into the bar pad as you come out of the hole.
  • If you start leaning forward to recruit more low back and hips, use your hands to push the weight back over your feet and make your quads do the work.
  • Don't cheat with your arms. You're trying to build your legs, not your ego.
  • Good alternatives: Machine squat, leg press, Zercher squat, hip belt squat.
Andrew Heming is a strength coach, professor, and former Canadian University U-Sport head strength coach. Andrew helps athletes and skinny hardgainers get bigger, faster, and stronger. Follow Andrew Heming on Facebook