The Squat

The barbell squat is a key exercise for increased leg strength in cycling.

Barbell Squat

Start/Finish PositionMid point
Squat start, finish and mid pointSquat start, finish and mid point
Muscles Activated
GluteusAdductor brevis
HamstringsAdductor longus
Erector spinae
Transverse abdominals
Rectus abdominals
Transverse abdominals


  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and place your hands on the bar about just over shoulder width apart. Rest the bar on your shoulders using a bar pad to cushion the weight against your shoulders and use a weight belt to protect your back.
  2. Look upwards so your back straightens, contract your stomach and back muscles to protect your back then lift the weight.
  3. Whilst looking upwards lift just your toes so the ball of your foot is still on the floor and lower yourself until your thigh is horizontal. As you lower yourself allow your pelvis to move backwards as this will help to balance the weight. Breathe in as you lower the weight.
  4. Breathe out as you lift the weight upwards back to the start position.

Where to feel the exercise

On the legs.

Dan Bennett

<< Back on to Hints & Tips >>