Barbell Squats to Strengthen Your Lower Body

Among current fitness trends are the barbell squats. It offers many broad benefits for your body and there are many varieties you can do. Find out more about barbell squats to strengthen your lower body.
Barbell Squats to Strengthen Your Lower Body

Last update: 12 April, 2019

Squats are one of the simplest and most traditional exercises out there. Still, its effectiveness has led to people creating many variations over the years. Barbell squats to strengthen your lower body are currently trending in the fitness world.

Below, we’ll go over these exercises, as well as the main variations of barbell squats to strengthen your lower body. Once you understand the purpose of each type of squat, it’ll be easier for you to choose the one that best suits your needs and expectations.

Three squat variations to tone your muscles

Although we tend to think of fitness as something modern, strength training has existed since ancient times. In fact, fitness has been essential for the survival of our species, as well as for intellectual development and community life.

Indeed, advances in science and technology have greatly benefitted fitness training. Today you’ll find lots of machines, accessories, and specific exercises to work each part of your muscles and improve your strength and physical endurance.

As for squats, they’ve become a key part of training routines for toning and strengthening muscles. Currently, there are over ten varieties of squats, each with a specific purpose as well as various positions, weights, and depths.

Below are the three main types of squats and what they’ll bring to a workout routine.

1. Barbell squats for strengthening your lower body

Barbell squats to strengthen your lower body are the most effective exercise. They’re also ideal if you’re looking to improve your power. The main reason for this is that you can use more weights with this kind than with other squats.

What’s more, it’s important to keep in mind that they target muscles in a particular way. The weights used on your trapezius muscle make your body lean slightly forward. As you might know, you can’t do barbell squats with your body standing straight up.

Barbell squats to strengthen your lower body

This slight inclination generates tension in the glutes and hamstrings. At the same time, it forces your core and upper body to keep your balance.

You should increase how far you lower your body and the weight you use gradually. How much depends on your fitness level and how your body is adapting to the squats. For a more advanced move, try to get your hips below your knees when doing barbell squats.

Of course, it takes time, practice, and a lot of dedication to reach that point. Still, the results won’t take long to appear if you stay consistent. You’ll quickly see your lower body become stronger. Also, you’ll see the muscles in the same part of your body improve.

2. Front barbell squats for quadriceps

Front barbell squats are great for those who want to tone their legs and give their appearance a boost. This variation is somewhat simpler than the barbell squat and its aim is to target the quadriceps.

Barbell squats to strengthen your lower body

As such, people always use less weight than those used for a normal barbell squat. The weight kept at shoulder height “forces” your body to remain upright. It also makes you work on your balance to avoid falling face down on the ground.

As such, the movement’s repetition not only targets your quadriceps but also works your abs and lower back muscles.

It’s also worth mentioning that this exercise requires concentration and motor coordination. As a result, you’re giving your mind and focus a workout.

3. Weighted squats

Weighted squats go back to a more classical or old-school type of fitness training that’s less complicated. As such, they’re the best option for those who want to slowly start practicing this type of exercise and benefit from its results.

Woman doing kettlebell squat

To do a weighted squat, you almost use the same technique as a front barbell squat. However, instead of using a weighted barbell you use a dumbbell or a kettlebell. Either way, you should always keep them at chest height. The basic movement involves bending your knees and hips while moving into a crouched position.

Barbell squats to strengthen your lower body: conclusion

Regardless of the kind you opt for, squats are a great and effective exercise that can help you boost your fitness level. Barbell squats to strengthen your lower body are a great option. Still, remember to always talk to your doctor before starting to practice them.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Glavina, B., & Pérez, J. (2009). Actividad muscular lumbar durante el ejercicio de sentadillas y su relación con sujetos de diferentes características físicas. Revista Iberoamericana de Fisioterapia y Kinesiologia12(2), 67–72.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.