How To Do Bench Squat

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A bench squat is very similar to a regular squat, but we'll be touching a bench with our glutes at the height where a regular barbell squat would end. Although it appears to be a straightforward motion, many people make at least one mistake. A box squat is another name for this exercise. Your height and the equipment you have in the gym will determine whether you utilize a box or a bench. Some folks even substitute a dumbbell for the barbell.

How To Do Bench Squat

How to Squat on a Bench

  • Set up your bench behind your squat rack at a height that allows you to sit on it with your femur (upper leg bone) parallel to the floor. To achieve this level, adjust the bench (for example, by placing plates below one side).
  • Grab the barbell with your hands about an inch wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Place the bar just above your shoulder blades and below your upper trap. The bar should not be close to your neck or above your trap.
  • Pull the bar onto your back with a firm grip before pulling it out of the rack. Throughout the exercise, make sure you're pulling the bar and maintaining tension throughout your body.
  • Make sure your weight is evenly distributed across your foot.
  • Take a deep breath and tighten your core before each rep. This procedure ensures that your trunk is as stable as possible.
  • Start by hunching your hips and pressing your pelvis backwards.
  • Allow your knees to bend after you've started hinging with your hips to help improve the depth.
  • Once you've reached the bench, press into it with your glutes while maintaining tension throughout your body and distributing your weight evenly through your foot.
  • To return to your starting posture, drive through your feet and forward with your hips, utilizing your glutes.

Benefits of Bench Squats

For other squat workouts, this version teaches the proper squat depth.

When squatting, we should aim for our femurs to be parallel to the ground at the bottom of the elevator in most circumstances (unlocked dwellings). While some people prefer to go lower, this is the industry norm for 1) most people getting adequate involvement from each rep and 2) competitions if you're into that.

When we position our bench at this femur-parallel level, we're teaching ourselves to come to a halt here when we remove the bench, which promotes proper form.

For new lifters, the bench can provide some confidence.

Squatting with a barbell might be scary, especially if we're trying to set new personal records. We provide a bit of a safety net when we use a bench. Of course, rack guards can be used, but certain gyms may not have them.

Common Bench Squat Errors

Mistake 1: Choosing an incorrectly sized bench or box

At the bottom of the squat, we want our femur (upper leg bone) to be parallel to the floor, as we've stated. We won't get the most out of the movement if we stop too high.

We might start to develop a butt wink if it's too low. Our pelvis begins to pull beneath our body at this point, rounding the lower back. This puts the spine in jeopardy and can result in back issues. Squat side-on to a mirror and wait for your pelvis to tuck under to notice where it starts to wink. During your sets, be sure you're not doing this.

Excessive weight on the bench or a loss of tension

We don't want to place all of our weight on the bench or remove the tension in our body when our glutes touch the bench. In fact, some people only tap the bench, which makes sense if we're trying to educate ourselves how to squat properly.

We'll observe less carryover to our usual barbell squat and other leg workouts if we put a lot of weight on the bench or relax on it.

Returning to the bench.

There is a significant contrast between this and the previous point. Some folks place their hands on the bench and straighten their torsos. This is a problem because we'll have to rock forward to get up if we sit with our spine absolutely upright. Have you ever squatted with a totally straight spine? No, because that isn't biomechanically possible. We shouldn't do it here since it won't carry over and we'll get less out of the workout.

Muscles used in bench squats


The quadriceps are the major driver of a squat, as you might imagine.

The purpose of these muscles is to extend the knee joint. The more we lean forward, the more our quads will activate. This tip may be useful, however we urge that you stay as balanced as possible with your weight above your center of gravity.

Maximus Gluteus

At the top of the exercise, you should be able to feel your glutes the most. They force your pelvis forward by pulling the femur (upper leg bone) back.

Squeeze your glutes at the beginning and end of each rep to keep your pelvic square. Some people squat with an unbalanced pelvis because they don't use their glutes adequately, which might lead to issues down the road.

Squat variations on the bench

Bench squat with a barbell

Of course, this variation will carry over to one of the most important compound movements you should be doing: the barbell squat. You'll be able to comfortably increase the weight with this exercise, as opposed to a dumbbell variation, which will be more difficult as we go closer to our maximum.

Bench squat with a pistol

Bench squats with a pistol are a terrific way to get started on your approach to a full pistol squat. To become acclimated to the foundations of the exercise, start with this and gradually reduce the bench as you advance.

Bench squat with dumbbells

Barbells are commonly avoided by people for a variety of reasons. One reason is that we can't drop a barbell as easily as we can dumbbells, so there's an extra element of risk. Dumbbells also take less time to set up and are therefore more convenient. These are some of the reasons why you might choose to go with this option.

Is bench squatting beneficial?

Bench squats focus the leg muscles and are a great way to increase strength. Bench squats, which are sometimes preferred over conventional squats by people with knee difficulties, allow the exerciser to improve leg strength without having to worry about sinking too low

Squats with a bench are referred to as what?

Squatting to a bench is known as a bench squat. At the bottom of your descent, you tap the bench with your buttocks. This serves as a helpful form reminder by indicating when you should begin rising back to standing. You're more likely to achieve greater depth than if you did a standard squat without using a bench.

Is crouching to a low enough position on a bench?

Squat no lower than the point when your hips begin to tuck under and your lower spine loses its natural arch. A considerable amount of hydraulic pressure is exerted on the discs in your spine when you flatten your spine with a heavy barbell across your shoulders.

Is once a week squatting heavy enough?

For the recreational or newer lifter, doing the squat and deadlift once or twice a week is usually enough to reap the benefits.

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