If you don’t have a barbell or access to a gym, you can always just use this as a body weight exercise.

Finding Fitness: Mastering the barbell squat

An exercise to help strengthen your legs, core and back


Gorr is a registered nurse with a background in fitness and nutrition. The Kenosha native hopes to help local residents find a path to wellness with the knowledge he's gained from personal experience and research. Gorr is a loving husband and father of two.

Hello all my friends! Its so great to see you back for another quick look at health and fitness.

As we start our summer, people start to look for ways to lose weight and just feel better and look better. One of my favorite ways to cut weight and have some fun while doing it is weight training exercises that challenge me and leave me wanting to improve. 

My favorite leg movement would have to the barbell squat. In previous articles, I have gone over goblet squats and even body weight squats. Overall, the barbell squat is going to help strengthen your legs, core and back immensely.

If you don’t have a barbell or access to a gym, you can always just use this as a body weight exercise.

To begin, I like to focus on the movement and remember my cues. Next, I put myself under the bar and make sure I am putting the bar on my traps and the back of my shoulders.

My hands grip about 12 inches from my shoulder and I try to pull my elbows back towards the ceiling. This helps keep the bar in place during the movement. Next, I stand about shoulder-width apart with my toes slightly pointed out, engaging my hips by “screwing” my feet into the ground by making tension in my hips and ankles.

You can start your descent, making sure that it feels like your sitting in your chair and you are feeling the weight evenly distributed in your feet. I aim to descend until my thighs are a little lower than when my thighs are parallel to the floor. Then I focus on pushing the weight back up by engaging my hamstring and glutes to get the weight back up to the starting position.

As always, make sure you are in a safe location and have a person there to spot you. 

After legs, I usually like to hit an upper-body exercise. One of my favorite ways to get my chest and arms really burning is a floor press. This exercise requires virtually no special equipment and is quite safe to perform at home.

To start, grab some weights or even just two equally heavy items. Place the weights in front of you and take a seat in front of them.

Take the weights and place them onto your thighs before rolling back until you are flat with your knees bent and the weight is resting in your hands with elbows bent and in line with one another. Next, with your elbows at about a 45-degree angle, you pill-push the weight up to the ceiling and bring it down, feeling the work in your chest and triceps.

I aim for about six reps if I am building strength or 10-12 for building muscle. 

That wraps up this week’s “Finding Fitness.” I hope you have some fun, new exercises to try or add to your current arsenal. Next week we will take a look at some more exercises as well as some easy protein powder recipes/hacks. Never give up guys!