The Best Type of Squat for Fitness Buffs
Is the best type of squat for fitness buffs a squat in a squat rack or using the Smith Machine?
A barbell squat challenges your body in a more natural way. It requires you to engage your core to maintain your posture and balance, which mimics real life activities like lifting boxes, moving laundry, carrying grocery bags, and picking up your kids.
Barbell squats activate your muscles more, which means you build more muscle which in turn increases your metabolic rate and helps you to burn fat.
Barbell squats allow for natural movement, unlike the Smith Machine which forces you into a straight vertical movement. Think about it – when you lift something, you rarely ever do so in a perfectly straight up and down movement. For these reasons, many consider this the best type of squat.
If you currently use the Smith Machine and want to switch, begin with a weight that is about 50% of what you were using on the Smith Machine. If you were squatting 100 lbs., start with 50 lbs., being sure to factor in the weight of the bar. This is to help you get comfortable with using the proper form so you don’t get injured. Slowly add weight during each successive training session, and before you know it, you’ll surpass your old max weight.