Box Squat

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Quads
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, Hamstrings, AdductorsAbductorsLower BackAbdominals
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Squat

Box Squat Instructions

  • Have a box placed behind you in the squat rack. To test proper height, when you sit on the box, your thighs should be at or slightly above parallel to the floor.
  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • Get underneath the bar, placing it on your traps
  • Have your hands outside shoulder-width in a position where you can create torque in your shoulders. You want to keep your shoulders pinned back. The equates to a strong upper back position.
    • The bar does not sit loosely on your back. Arms lock the bar into your body.
    • Imagine pulling your elbows under the bar with your chest 
  • You want your torso in a strong, vertical position. 
    • Your chest is up and eyes fixed straight ahead.
  • Unrack the bar and step back one foot at a time. 
    • Be aware of the box positioned behind you.
  • Place your feet slightly wider than a normal squat. Toes pointed out slightly as well. 
  • Push your knees out and 'screw' your feet into the floor. Brace your core again. 
  • Push your hips back and sit softly down & back into the box. 
    • The box allows you to sit back more in the squat equating to more hamstring and glute activation.
    • Sit back into the box. Your upper box goes back with your lower half.
    • Your upper body is still locked in and tight.
  • Don't tap the box with your glutes then stand up.
    • Using your glutes and hamstrings, stand up into the starting position. 
    • Squeeze your glutes at the top.


      • Sit softly on the box while maintaining your core strength. Don't collapse on it, this will cause havoc on your back.
      • Perform with light weight and grove the proper bar path. Going heavy without proper knowledge of technique can be dangerous.
      • Don't overextend/arch your back. Focus on core tightness and a neutral spine.
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