For building mass, squats are king. However, when long-limbed hardgainers try to back squat, it often looks like an ugly good morning. Switching to a safety squat bar (holding the squat rack) is a game changer.
• The padded yoke takes stress off your shoulders.
• The bar design moves the weight forward like a front squat. This means less stress on your spine and more on your quads.
• Holding the rack helps you keep a more upright torso. This makes your squat look more like the pretty squats of someone with a good squat structure. It also adds some extra stability to the lift, which lets you lift more weight for more reps.
• For big legs, don’t sit back like a powerlifter. Instead, spread your knees and sit down.
• Drive your traps into the bar pad as you come out of the hole.
• If you start leaning forward to recruit more low back and hips, use your hands to push the weight back over your feet and make your quads do the work.
• Don’t cheat with your arms. You’re trying to build your legs, not your ego.
• Good alternatives: Machine squat, leg press, Zercher squat, hip belt squat.