T Nation

Going Down


Squats...with the smith machine or free weighting it. Are there any tips on how to do them properly. I dont believe I am feeling them in the right places. I can't keep on with the reps like it is nothing. But I give out before long. Also anyone have any killer ab exercises? I want to switch it up a bit.


I thought this would be about another type of going down so I clicked it. Haha.

Anyway. Give us a little background on your training (i.e. routine, training experience, equipment access etc) I would stick to free weights. Maybe even start off with dumbbells

For some more help though (I know I'm not too helpful) check out the following:



For Ab Work:



Also, what are your goals?



Just to add to the info. given above I will touch on a few things.

First squatting proper and the smith machine dont/cant belong to the same sentence. When squatting in the smith your are sqautting how the machine wants you to not how your body wants/needs to. it sticks you in an unnatural ROM.

So stick to free weight, drop the load and nail the form.

Second. Yes squats are hard and you should get worn out and not be able to go for ever on reps. They will get harder and harder as you go. You keep on pressiogn through. Fight to keep solid form and above all move that damn load. Once you feel form is breaking to a point that its getting BAD and you cant fix it by trying damn hard then stop. Rest for another set or call it a day on those.

Hope that helps,
Glad to hear your squatting


Couldn't have said it better.


some things i've done to help with my form are front squats as well as just squatting with no weight at all(not even a bar), just going all the way up and all the way down for as long as it takes me to nail it...

another good thing to do is set up something like a smith machine(or a power rack) and put the bar at about waist level, grab it with both hands at about shoulder level, and squat up and down while holding the bar(for balance)


Free weights only, ever. Hang your towel on the smith machine.
What kind of stance do you use? What depth?
Tried lunges? You can groove those to feel them in different places.
Have you deadlifted? Have you done pull throughs?


Personally, I never go down unless there is a box there.

In other words, Box Squats. I use them as a safety factor since I had a herniated disk operation close to 10 years ago.


I second this although ocasionally i like to skip the box and just see how deep i can get in the hole.
Experiment and see what works!


haha you guys are funny...I did second guess my title...what are box squats?


Where you unrack the weight as usual, then you sit back and down onto the box completely, all of your muscles should be unflexed, then you stand up. It works the ass real good, great for people with weak glutes.


Well, you should still have your arch, your back, traps, gut etc. should still be tight, but you should let your glutes, hams, quads, calves and hip flexors relax.

I'm nitpicking I know, I just don't want her to flop onto the box like a wet noodle.


read here: -

here: -



OK I disagree on the box squats. she cant regualr squat proper yet and ppl are telling her to box sqaut even the advanced sqautter has to drop the load a lot to box sqaut proper, and without injury why get a beginner trying to do it and possibly on her own with no one that has experience.

I say lower the load and learn to REAL sqaut firts hell even use a broom stick. Then later dwon the road use the box squats.

Its much safer to simply squat in the rack with the pins set then if she has to about falls back etc she doesnt land on a box with a weight on her back and risk getting pinned there or a back injury from the abrupt STOP.

My suggestion, get under the bar and SQUAT light loads and juts rep that baby, Youll get it in no time and slowly up the loads.



Ive got a new pet term and im going to use it here. Phil - we're reading from the same page here mate. I or anyone else isnt suggesting she dumps regular squats. Although i havent made it clearer i feel the box will benefit in terms of learning to 'sit' into the squat.

Of course there are a myriad of other problems we might not be able to address - not being flexable round the ankles, leaning to far forward etc etc, but from personal experience a box can help in drilling this phase.



Also have someone watch you from the side and make sure your hips are breaking even with your knee. If there is no one, squat down till your hamstrings touch your calves.

You should have someone who knows how to squat teach you how to squat properly. You can teach yourself, but it's difficult and you'll waste a lot of time squatting poorly.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned overhead squats yet as they will improve her form AND work the abs.

Do them with a broomstick until you get the form right and then increase weight slowly. I like doing them sumo stance and find that at the bottom you almost pop up and out because there is so much compressed energy in your legs.


Have you ever actually taught anyone to squat? Just wondering, because the box squat is probably the EASIEST way to teach someone to squat properly. I've tried BNS squat bands, broomstick squats for reps, quarter squats increasing depth, you name it. And nothing compares with the ease of box squats.

Also, you say she shouldn't box squat becase she'll have to lower the load, and then you tell her to lower the load to learn the form properly. Doesn't click in my book.


Im surprised nobody has delved into the hilarity of recommending box squats to a woman.


the possibilities are endless, yet totally inappropriate.

no disrespect to the op.


If i were there id spot you.


I hear you my only thing with the box squat is if she is doing this alone with now one there to assist her then using a box and load is kind of stepping over the line and asking for an injury.

I do agree it is a great tool and helps on the bottom sitting back not down. I just hate to think of here trying to start squatting from scratch alone and trying to learn a box squat.

I think we are on the same page.