Bench Back Squat

What is Bench Back Squat?

Bench Back Squat refers to a variation of the traditional barbell squat exercise that involves using a bench or box to support the lifter during the exercise.

In a bench squat, the lifter stands in front of the bench with the barbell on their shoulders, as they would in a regular squat. However, instead of squatting down all the way to the ground, the lifter squats until their butt touches the bench, and then immediately stands back up, without resting on the bench. This movement pattern helps the lifter to maintain proper form and can help to prevent injury.

The squats on bench is often used as a variation of the traditional squat exercise to build strength in the legs, glutes, and lower back, as well as to improve overall squat mechanics. It can be performed with a variety of equipment, including a barbell, dumbbells, or a kettlebell, depending on the lifter’s preference and experience level.

How To Perform Bench Back Squat?

Performing a bench back squat involves the following steps:

Set up a bench or box behind you at the desired height. The bench should be low enough to allow you to reach parallel or slightly below parallel when you squat.

Approach the bench with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Place the barbell on your shoulders, gripping it firmly with your hands.

Take a deep breath and brace your core. This will help to stabilize your spine and protect your lower back.

Begin to lower your body by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your chest up and your back straight as you lower yourself down.

Squat to bench down until your butt touches the bench or box, then immediately stand back up by driving through your heels and pushing your hips forward.

Repeat for the desired number of reps or time, making sure to maintain proper form and technique throughout the exercise.

Once you’ve completed your set, carefully rack the barbell and step away from the bench.

As with any exercise, it’s important to start with a weight that you can handle safely and with proper form. It’s also important to warm up before performing the bench back squat or any other exercise, and to stretch after your workout to prevent injury and aid recovery. This is shortly about how to bench squat.

What bench height is optimal for Bench Back Squat?

The optimal bench height for the bench back squat will depend on the lifter’s individual body dimensions, as well as their mobility and flexibility.

In general, the bench height should be low enough to allow the lifter to reach parallel or slightly below parallel when they squat, but not so low that they have difficulty getting back up or maintaining proper form.

A good starting point for most lifters is a bench height that is around knee-height or slightly lower. However, this may need to be adjusted based on the individual’s body proportions and mobility.

It’s also worth noting that the bench height may need to be adjusted as the lifter progresses and becomes stronger or more flexible. For example, some lifters may choose to gradually lower the bench height over time to increase the range of motion and difficulty of the exercise.

Ultimately, the optimal bench height for the bench back squat will depend on the individual lifter’s needs and goals, and may require some trial and error to find the best fit.

What muscles are working in Bench Back Squat?

The barbell bench squat is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the lower body and core. Some of the primary muscles worked during a bench back squat include:

Quadriceps: The quadriceps muscles, located in the front of the thigh, are heavily recruited during the squatting motion.

Glutes: The gluteus maximus and medius muscles in the buttocks are also activated during the squat, especially during the upward phase of the movement.

Hamstrings: The hamstrings, located on the back of the thigh, help to stabilize the knee joint and provide additional power during the upward phase of the squat.

Calves: The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calf are also involved in the squatting motion, especially when the lifter is pushing through the balls of their feet.

Core: The squatting motion requires a strong core to stabilize the spine and pelvis, making it an effective core-strengthening exercise.

Lower back: The lower back muscles, including the erector spinae, are also engaged to maintain proper form and stability throughout the movement.

Overall, the bench back squat is a highly effective exercise for building strength and size in the lower body, while also improving overall stability and balance.

Bench Back Squat Tips

This exercise allows you to work with a rather heavy weight and is great for leg strength gain during the preparation period. It’s important to remember the technical nuances of the current exercise in order to make the performance safe and effective: 

– always work face to the racks – heavy weight on the barbell is a big risk; 

– before you start working with heavy weight, make sure the bench and racks are located conveniently; 

– height of the bench should be at the level of the knee joints, the correct angle of squat in this exercise is the parallel of your thigh and the floor; 

– position of the bar on the shoulders is the same as in the usual weightlifting BS – a stiff back, the blades are brought together, the bar must be well fixed on the traps and prevent it from sliding to the neck or down; 

– always look forward – it will help to keep your trunk in the right position; 

– the movement downwards should always be slow until your buttocks touch the bench followed by an active (fast) extension upwards, pushing the floor through your heels.

Main Mistakes In Bench Back Squat

There are several common mistakes that can occur when performing the bench back squat. Here are some of the main ones to watch out for:

Not maintaining proper form: One of the biggest mistakes in the bench back squat is failing to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. This can include rounding the back, allowing the knees to cave inwards, or failing to keep the chest up. These errors can increase the risk of injury and decrease the effectiveness of the exercise.

Using too much weight: Another common mistake is using too much weight, which can compromise form and increase the risk of injury. It’s important to start with a weight that you can handle safely and with proper form, and gradually increase the weight as your strength and form improve.

Not using the bench correctly: The bench is there to help you maintain proper form and depth during the squat. Failing to touch your butt to the bench or resting on the bench during the exercise can negate the benefits of the bench back squat.

Not warming up properly: Failing to properly warm up before performing the bench back squat can increase the risk of injury and decrease the effectiveness of the exercise. It’s important to do some light cardio, stretching, and activation exercises to prepare your body for the workout.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Author: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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