How to Do a Quarter Squat

Few exercises work the thighs and butt better than squats.
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Quarter squats serve as a variation of the traditional barbell squat – like standard squats, this exercise targets the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and glutes. If you've been practicing body-weight squats and would like to increase the intensity of the exercise, quarter squats serve as a segue into full-fledged barbell squats. Likewise, you can perform this exercise without the weight – pointing your arms straight ahead or resting your hands on your hips – to transition into body-weight squats.

Step 1

Load a barbell with weight suited to your skill level. Position the bar at a little lower than shoulder-height on a squat rack and then position yourself under the bar so that you support the bar with your upper shoulders, not your neck. Grasp the bar overhand with a wide grip – your hands should be about 6 inches out from your shoulders.

Step 2

Straighten your back and push up through your heels to lift the bar off the rack. Take one step forward and plant your feet at shoulders-width, your toes pointed slightly out. Maintain a straight back and neck and keep your eyes directed straight ahead.

Step 3

Lower into a partial squatting position, keeping your back and neck completely straight – avoid slouching or curving your spine. Drive the squatting motion with your hips, lowering your thighs about 6 to 12 inches. Hold for a count.

Step 4

Return to the starting position without locking your knees, keeping a straight back as you rise. Repeat with a smooth, deliberate motion – focus on proper form and bar control rather than speed.

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