Rack Squat

The rack squat (also referred to simply as the "Squat") is a compound exercise for your leg muscles - particularly your quads (quadriceps).

The rack squat is one of the best leg exercises. If, for some reason, you can only do one leg exercise in your leg workout routine, do the squat. You'll build up enormous strength and muscle size in your legs with this exercise. The squat goes hard on your quads, hamstrings, and your glutes (your butt). You'll also get a pretty good back and ab workout with this too.


How to perform the Rack Squat

  1. With the barbell on the squat rack, duck your head under and ascend until your shoulders touch the barbell.
  2. Bring your hands up and hold the bar.
  3. Keeping your back straight, lift the barbell off the rack and step back (so that you clear the rack when you perform your squat).
  4. Your feet should be just wider than shoulder width apart.
  5. Now, squat down, keeping your back arched, until your quads are parallel with the floor (or slightly more).
  6. Return to starting position
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 until you've repeated the desired number of reps
Number of Reps For building muscle size: 3 sets of between 6 - 8 reps. For muscle tone: 3 sets of between 12 - 15 reps.


  • By placing your feet wider, you emphasise your hamstrings. Narrower, and you emphasise your quads.
  • It is very important to keep your back arched as you bring the weight back up. This is the key to lifting heavy weights. Many people hurt their backs performing squats because they bend their backs as they try to lift the weight back up. Doing this can also put you off balance and cause you to fall forward.
  • Although squats are normally done with a barbell on your back, it is possible to do them without any weight. However, because your legs are so strong, you'll eventually find that you'll need to add weight. To do this, you need a squat rack (or a smith machine).


Muscles Used

Primary Muscles
  • Quadriceps (Front Thigh/Quads)
Secondary Muscles

  • Gluteus Maximus (Butt)
  • Adductor Magnus (Inner Thigh)
  • Soleus (Calf)

Stabilizer Muscles
  • Hamstrings (Rear thigh)
  • Gastrocnemius (Calf)
  • Erector Spinae (Lower Back)
  • Rectus Abdominis (Abdominal)
  • Obliques (Side of Waist)

About Me

Hi, I'm Ian. Health and fitness is an integral part of my life. I believe that keeping fit and eating well can help you appreciate life so much more. If you're looking for me, you'll probably find me in the gym or outside enjoying the great outdoors!

About This Site

I created Great-Workout.com so that I could share my knowledge and experience in the area of fitness, nutrition, and muscle building exercises. Many people don't know where to start when it comes to fitness and I hope this website can be a good starting point.

About Strength

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. - Arnold Schwarzenegger