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USED IN: Strength I and II

SETUP: Set up a lightly loaded barbell in the rack, at the same height you'd use for squats. (You probably want to start with just the bar if you've never done this before.) Set it on your traps, lift it off the supports, and step back. You want your feet positioned and your posture set as described for the squat in Chapter 8.

LOWERING: Push your hips back as you bend your torso forward. The farther you bend forward, the more your knees will bend, which is fine—do what your body wants to do. The key is to keep your lower back in its natural arch throughout. Never compromise that arch for the sake of a deeper range of motion. The second key is to keep your head and neck in the same posture. That means you'll be looking down at the floor at the bottom of the movement. Most guys will try to keep their eyes up to watch themselves in the mirror, but that distorts your posture and limits your strength.

LIFTING: Push your hips forward as you rise to the starting position. Remember, it's all in the hips, meaning the entire focus here is on your gluteals and hamstrings, which move your hips forward. If you feel yourself using your knees to generate momentum, stop the set. At that point, you're just doing squats with light weights and bad form.

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