• Published: 14 April 2019
  • The squat is one of the most important exercises you can include in your leg training. That said, if you experience knee pain while doing it or just don’t have the strength you think you should with this staple leg exercise, then you need to watch this video. I’m going to show you one thing you need to do before any squat that will instantly help you decrease knee discomfort and put more weight on the bar as you realize your true strength.

    The effectiveness of this relies on the dysfunctional recruitment of the posterior chain (namely the glutes and hamstrings) that most of us have from muscle imbalances we have developed over time. When you perform a squat you need to be able to load the muscles on the back side of our bodies to handle as much weight as we are capable of. All too often, we tend to shift the load too much to the anterior chain muscles which winds up hurting our knees and limiting the amount of weight we can lift.

    There are two major requirements of a properly performed squat biomechanically. You need to have proper amounts of knee flexion and hip flexion. One without the other can lead to one ugly looking squat. That said, if you can marry the two and optimize the contributions of each you are going to have a squat that is not only capable of handling maximal loads but is going to do so as safely as possible on your joints.

    That said, since we know the squat is a glute driven movement it makes sense that in order to neurologically wake up the posterior chain we would want to perform a quick warmup with an exercise that does so directly. In this case, it’s a weighted glute bridge or a barbell hip thrust depending on your available hip range of motion and level of training experience.

    I like to start everyone on the floor if they have not done this exercise prior to squats before. The key to the effectiveness of the movement is that it trains the glutes to be the primary driver of hip extension while working in concert with the hamstrings (which is their secondary function). With both the knees and hips in flexion, we are better mimicking the true function of the lower body during the squats.

    When you perform your weighted bridge you want to be sure that you are feeling the hinge take place in your hips. A lot of times, the proprioceptive awareness of what true hip hinging should feel like is lacking. This leads to an overreliance on the quads to try and take the brunt of the load on the squat. After performing the bridge however, the glutes are more prepared to allow the posterior loading of the body during the descent. Likewise, the hamstrings are more alert to their role as eccentric controllers of hip flexion during the down portion of the squat and are therefore more capable of giving you stability that you have not had.

    On the way up, the activation of the glutes provides you with keys to the ignition of the main driver of the ascent on the squat. While the quads are important for getting out of the hole, it’s the glutes that are primarily responsible (with their immense strength capacity) for getting you up and out with minimal disruption to your bar path. Those with weak glutes will demonstrate ugly looking squat form out of the whole. Often times, these guys and gals will lurch their bodies forward, raising the hips and shifting the load to their low backs to compromise for their weaknesses in the glutes.

    Over time, this will lead to chronic low back pain and is completely avoidable.

    A couple sets of 6-8 reps of the barbell glute bridge or barbell hip thrust with a 4 second hold at the top is enough to warm up the body to perform the squat to your maximum potential. Neurologically this will allow you to tap into strength reserves you never knew you had all while building up your volume over time through your other leg training on the glutes and posterior chain muscles.

    If you are looking for a step by step program that never overlooks the importance of the glutes when it comes to athletic performance and obtaining your most powerful physique, head to the link below and check out the ATHLEAN-X Training System.

    For more videos on how to build a bigger squat as well as the best way to strengthen your glutes and avoid red flags for weak glute development, be sure to subscribe to our channel at the link below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a video when it’s published.
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Comments • 1 872

    ATHLEAN-X™   1 weeks back

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them :) Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • Dennis HP
      Dennis HP  5 days back


    • Aravind Barath
      Aravind Barath  5 days back

      Give your thoughts on One Day A Meal diet

    • Artur D
      Artur D  5 days back

      Hey Jeff! I am really interested what would be your advice (or a plan) how to prepare for workout in terms of warming up and dynamic streching. Can you refer to the video of this guy:?
      I think it is a major stuff for all us out there trying to push hard but still stay out of injuries.

    • Adetokunbo ADEKOYA
      Adetokunbo ADEKOYA  5 days back

      Hi Jeff, I just want to ask about the pull up bar you use at home( the one that is in one of your videos ). I would like to know where you got it from.

    • Alex1120
      Alex1120  6 days back

      ATHLEAN-X™ update I emailed support and showed them the video that I did win they quickly resolved the issue! This is not a scam as most people say it’s all about luck so keep trying!

  • michael p
    michael p  5 hours back

    Always learn something new - and key - from you. I was doing these in reverse. Thanks man!!

    • Andi Hochsteger
      Andi Hochsteger  5 hours back

      Thank you so much. I'll trie it tomorrow and hope my knee pains will stop 👍👌

      • Jeffery 'Jeff' Jefferson

        What if you crush your ballsack?

        • Ashwin Kerr
          Ashwin Kerr  8 hours back

          Jeff has the ultimate body ,watch his videos and he will help you achieve yours.Once you start believing in his channel you will slowly have a wide range of ideas to explore. Wish I could meet you if I ever could.Cheers to ATHLEAN X the all star bodybuilding channel.
          Your Unknown friend
          Ashwin Kerr

          • Jessica Moase
            Jessica Moase  14 hours back

            I love your videos!! I have gained so much knowledge and understanding of exercises from your explanations. Please keep doing them :) Question from me, I am new to compound movements with any sort of heavy weights. I'm used to muscle soreness. Until I started upping the weight on squats or trying deadlifts I've never had any back pain or tightness. How can you tell if you are sore because your technique sucks or if it's 'good pain'. I'm worried in particular about my lower back and have been paying a lot of attention to your videos about the glutes. I am desk based so definitely had a 'dead butt' at the beginning.

            • Xavier Vasquez
              Xavier Vasquez  22 hours back

              Loved it :)

              • KTM990WFO
                KTM990WFO  1 days back

                Hey Jeff, I've been getting back into working out consistently lately and something I really want to improve on is my squat. I'm making progress but today as I started loading some decent weight onto the bar and doing my reps, I felt a moderate tweak in my back. Not my lower back, but around the middle just off to the right of my spine. It wasn't enough to cripple me or anything, but I recognize that something in my form is wrong. I'm squatting to about parallel and making sure to keep the bar movement vertical. Just not sure what's going on but I want to correct it instead of just plowing ahead and causing a more severe injury doing the road.

                • Vimal V
                  Vimal V  1 days back

                  Planet Fitness is the closest gym and they got no barbells.. All Smith Machines, urgghhh

                  • Samuel Weinzaepfel
                    Samuel Weinzaepfel  2 days back

                    @Jeff - Does this also help to improve the deadlift?

                    • Hisham Bajwa
                      Hisham Bajwa  2 days back

                      Jeff has made a lot of videos on working out and building muscles, but has he done one on how to have hair like that? I don't think so.

                      • Kan Do
                        Kan Do  2 days back

                        Jeff, I have the opposite issue where I can’t get my quads to contribute and only get sore glutes and hamstrings. Any recommendations on how to get the quads to work more when squatting?

                        • Vagrant Sneaker
                          Vagrant Sneaker  2 days back

                          Love it. But I have a question. What about Front squats? Im a big fan of those. I actually don't do regular squats because of my back issue. It's much more comfortable for me to do front squats. Your first example seemed like you almost did a front squat but said its not good form. Since front squats you dip straight down and not forward, Im curious to see you describe proper form form them.

                          • Dee Dee
                            Dee Dee  2 days back

                            This channel is awesome, I've learned a ton. However, I'm having issues with my lazy glutes. They do not fire as they should during a glute bridge (or any glute driven exercise for that matter). I am fairly sure I am doing the exercise correctly. I've even recorded myself to make sure I'm aligned properly, engaging my core and all of that - but no matter what I do my hamstrings or lower back will take over the exercise. I've tried different leg placements, I've tried driving the weight through my heels only, I might feel my glutes for like 4 or 5 reps then my hamstrings and lower back kick in. I am SO frustrated. Any tips on how to wake up my lazy ass? Would be keen to hear from ANYONE who might have advice. Thanks!

                            • Josiah Kratz
                              Josiah Kratz  2 days back

                              “The art of woke muscles.” By Jeff Cavalier

                              • Greg Frisari
                                Greg Frisari  2 days back

                                I’m a little confused by this. Jeff uses a high bar position but it seems like he’s saying to drive with the posterior chain like a low bar squat instead of driving with quads as in a high bar squat. It almost looks like a hybrid of a high bar and low bar squat. 🤔

                                • Justin Lopez
                                  Justin Lopez  2 days back

                                  hey jeff, what about for hip pain?

                                  • Armand B.
                                    Armand B.  2 days back

                                    im not gonna lie down with my back on some dirty floor in gym. Jeff gotta visit average gym...

                                    • ratata
                                      ratata  3 days back

                                      Jeff, I cannot feel lunges in my back leg at all! Helppp

                                      • Scott
                                        Scott  2 days back

                                        Lunges mostly target quads and glutes, focus on something like a Romanian Deadlift

                                    • SHANKAR U
                                      SHANKAR U  3 days back

                                      Great Tip Mr Jeff. Wish you could add tips on how to avoid hair loss while squatting or heavy lifting , as I understand squatting induces more hair loss , Thanks

                                      • Nic Lopez
                                        Nic Lopez  3 days back

                                        Jeff do a max out day we wanna see what your lifts are

                                        • ItalianBrownsFAN
                                          ItalianBrownsFAN  3 days back

                                          Why do weightlifters use the knee forward method then? With no issues and super strong and developed

                                          • just me
                                            just me  3 days back

                                            I enjoy every video you have. Finally, I bought the AX-1 program and love it! Today, I bought your supplement stack. Thanks so much Jeff.

                                            • C875
                                              C875  3 days back

                                              Thank you! I tried this today and it worked very well. No knee pain and probably the easiest set I've ever done.

                                              • bellmeisterful
                                                bellmeisterful  3 days back

                                                This is what natural looks like people! Countless times I comment saying I dont take advice from magic muscle guys. They cheated, and in a huge way. Then I get tons of dudes who dont know what theyre talking about try to argue that their mass is attainable naturally. Go back and look at this guys mass. Now you know.

                                                • wolverinexx2013
                                                  wolverinexx2013  3 days back

                                                  At times it seems like jeff has a magic crystal ball and can see us in the gyms across the world almost always when i do an improper form due to a weak or a muscle not firing up a day or two later a new video pops up explaining why that is .. Thank you so much jeff without question you're The Man!!

                                                  • Malte Kammersgaard
                                                    Malte Kammersgaard  3 days back

                                                    I think I love Jeff. But I'm pretty sure Jeff loves Jeff too. I'd lose this battle everyday.

                                                    • WithTheBears
                                                      WithTheBears  3 days back

                                                      I always feel the bride/hip thrust as tension in distal quad in an uncomfortable way?

                                                      • Kuldip Waid
                                                        Kuldip Waid  3 days back

                                                        Jeff can you lift 2 x 10 kg daily dumbbells in each hand and do it daily with no negative setback

                                                        I'm not training to build muscle I'm needing to lose fat however I have some reasons I can't engage my legs right now or why i can't lift heavy aswell because it will engage my core to much causing strain on another situation, so I'm doing arms and shoulders but In light weight which is 10kg it's not too light but not too heavy where I feel i can't do it everyday

                                                        I mean look at the old time lifters and club swingers in india, it's cool right to loft this weight, let me know cheers

                                                        • andresd11
                                                          andresd11  3 days back

                                                          Please i need some exercices to work on my golf swing distance (courses are getting too long) and also working on my abs/core without neck pain.

                                                          • jake austin
                                                            jake austin  3 days back

                                                            I do a home workout where I have 10 sets of 37 push ups an a 20 minute abs in sets of a minute per exercise. Do I do each set of push ups in between each ab set or all push ups then all abs

                                                            • Andriotti Jr.
                                                              Andriotti Jr.  3 days back

                                                              Hey, Jeff... What do u think about Nordic Curls? Some people say it offers great gains, but some people say it can really injury the knees in a long term routine.

                                                              • to SKY
                                                                to SKY  3 days back

                                                                Its ok to eat bread if u want a 6 pack?

                                                                • Tim Kim
                                                                  Tim Kim  3 days back

                                                                  Hey can anyone answer this question for me? So my friend and I got into an argument about benching with your back arched and not. The other guy I’m arguing with saying that the flat bench is way more beneficial to reach your goal. He’s saying you get a longer range of motion while exerting the most amount of strength possible. While on the other hand I arch my back while I bench and he says why I do it. First I don’t want to injure myself and second I’m able to lift way more while also building muscle. I just don’t understand why he’s arguing that flat bench is way more beneficial because I don’t think it is. So the question here is, Is flat bench more beneficial than benching with your back arched and Why or why not?

                                                                  • Ebony Jordan
                                                                    Ebony Jordan  3 days back

                                                                    How can I properly prepare for lunges to get full range.

                                                                    • wanted 6789
                                                                      wanted 6789  4 days back

                                                                      Thank you so much for this tip jeff!!!

                                                                      • Antonio
                                                                        Antonio  4 days back

                                                                        I should be deadlifting more. Can you do a similar video for deadlifts?

                                                                        • Grigore Ureche
                                                                          Grigore Ureche  4 days back

                                                                          Hi.Can you recommend me or make a video about a training program to increase power using dumbells and the bodybuilding equipment you can find in every gym?Thank you for your kind answer.

                                                                          • Joslyn Jade Christie
                                                                            Joslyn Jade Christie  4 days back

                                                                            Awesome video! Thank you!

                                                                            • Mohammed fadhily
                                                                              Mohammed fadhily  4 days back

                                                                              Our father, who lifts in heaven, Hallowed be thy gain, Thy swole be come, Arms will be done, On earth, as it lifts in heaven, Give us this day our daily pump, And forgive us our rest days, As we have also forgiven out spotters, And lead us not into cross-fit, But deliver us from leg day, Amen

                                                                              • NiRo276
                                                                                NiRo276  4 days back

                                                                                Stupid thumbnail..

                                                                                • RickfromColorado
                                                                                  RickfromColorado  4 days back

                                                                                  Thank you! Too many people think Jason Blaha does a correct squat when in reality, he does not. But! He talks all his smack about u.

                                                                                  • Lance Love
                                                                                    Lance Love  4 days back

                                                                                    So always poop and always scoop...don't shoop.

                                                                                    • Jamuna Rani
                                                                                      Jamuna Rani  4 days back

                                                                                      Is it useful to go to gym for just 30 days and leave does it give any defects I need answer plz

                                                                                      • lucian kristov
                                                                                        lucian kristov  4 days back

                                                                                        I've bulked up so much because of this dude. You're badass and thank you very much for teaching us how to do things properly. 💪

                                                                                        • Landon Hale
                                                                                          Landon Hale  4 days back

                                                                                          i’m squatting 190 4 reps for a 5:3 130 pound wide receiver in football is that good for my size??

                                                                                          • Matthew Ondricek
                                                                                            Matthew Ondricek  4 days back

                                                                                            Everyone who thumbs down this man's videos needs to post body pics.

                                                                                            • Boostedfit
                                                                                              Boostedfit  4 days back

                                                                                              I have became a big fan of squats lately. My glutes are really weak so I have been doing those hip thrusts on the regular. The videos you make are very helpful no matter what body part it is. Thanks Jeff