3 Sides to a Great Low Bar Squat

Legs 2 min Read

Written by

Keith Hansen

If you set up a camera in front of a squat, to the side, and behind there are tell-tale signs every great low bar squat possesses.

When I’m coaching the low bar squat I watch from 360 degrees to take in as much information as possible about a client’s squat. I watch a lot of reps, and then I create a plan to fix the squat until it is perfect.

This article is best when combined with The 4 Components of a Perfect Low Bar Squat. That article teaches you what a low bar squat should look like, and this article teaches you how to watch for those components.

You video tape your own squats from these angles to learn what you should be improving, or have a friend read this article and watch your squats.


From the front we are primarily looking for valgus knee movement. That’s just a fancy way to say knees crashing in. This is bad.

We also do not want to see someone’s weight shift from left to right, or one leg crashing in. These are signs of muscular asymmetries between the left & right sides and need to be addressed through unilateral work.

You could watch for the other components of a low bar squat but they are best seen from the back and side.


From the back we get the best view of foot/femur alignment. This is the idea that the thigh should be directly inline with the foot. 

An additional thing to watch for in your back view is heel lift. In a good low bar squat heel stay planted firmly on the ground.


I ordered the three sides of the squat front, back, side-to-side because it sounded coolest, but it isn’t how I usually view them.

The side view is the single most important angle.

This because from the side we can watch bar path, and in a great low bar squat bar path is perfectly vertical. Any deviation from a perfectly vertical bar path especially at the beginning or bottom is a red flag.

We’re also again watching for stable feet. If you see the heels lift at all the squat needs some work. Good low bar squats will show no motion in the feet from the side.

Lastly we want to watch for buttwink. This is lumbar flexion(the butt tucks under) at the bottom of the squat. It typically means the squat is going too low and the low back must flex to compensate. Fix your depth and remember that low bar squats are for parallel squatting.

Visit our guide on how to low bar squat for a complete collection of information regarding the low bar squat.

If you still need help with your low bar squats then send us a message.

Keith Hansen

Keith was an All-State wrestler in high school and in 2007 hung up his singlet to attend Florida State University to pursue a B.S. in business management. He wasn't sure what industry he wanted to be involved in at the time, but soon realized after graduating in 2011 that fitness was the ever-constant activity in his life. Keith began studying to become a personal trainer and in 2013 earned the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Personal Trainer certification. After a short stint as a big box gym trainer he realized he wanted to bring something different to Tallahassee. Keith competes in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and Crossfit.