Squat Progressions

Often the first squat pattern someone will be taught is a back squat. However, I’d argue there are much better alternatives that are both easier to learn and will build the proper technique to eventually back squat efficiently.

Here is a progression for a squat movement pattern:
Bodyweight
Goblet
Box
Front
Back
Split Squat
Zercher
Pistol
Overhead


Some considerations: If your goal is hypertrophy or strength building primarily, the bottom row exercises wouldn’t be the best choice and I’d stick mostly with the middle or even top row in cases. These allow for the best progressive overload and heavier loads. The bottom row movements are better if your goals are “functional-based” (CrossFit, etc) and not necessarily getting stronger or bigger since they require more relative body strength as well as coordination.


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