Grasp the bar with a clean grip. This is determined by having your fingers just outside of your shoulders while the bar is resting in the “rack position”. The rack position creates a stable platform for the bar to sit on the front of your shoulders while not loading your wrists too much. Here your elbows should be directed inwards and upwards so your upper arm is parallel to the floor. Keep your hands lightly holding the bar and all of your fingers under the bar (your thumbs should be over the bar). Keep your upper back tight and extended, visualize lifting your sternum up towards the ceiling. Next, take a stance that is just about hip-width and be sure your toes are slightly turned out in a duck stance. I realize there is a lot of discussion in modern fitness pertaining to squatting with the toes straight vs slightly turned out. The purpose of squatting with the toes straight is to determine if there are any mobility issues with an athlete that needs to be addressed and should be done with bodyweight squatting only. As you begin to add any load, such as an empty bar or more, the toes should be turned out slightly to help involve your adductors in the squatting movements as well as help you maintain an upright posture with a neutral spine when you squat deep. Tighten your belly muscles as tight as possible as you begin your descent by moving your hips behind your heels and bending at both your hips and knees. It is very important to have the bottom of your entire foot maintain contact with the floor (especially your heels) throughout this exercise. As you lower into the squat keep an upright posture so your elbows point across the room. Full depth is achieved when your knees are bent as much as possible without losing the arch in your back. Keep your belly muscles as tight as possible at this point in the lift. Once you have hit the bottom of the squat stand back up by driving your legs into the ground and thinking of these 3 key points in order:
It is very important to keep your elbows in and up to maintain an upright posture and have the bar resting in the “rack position”. This will keep your spine in a neutral position and have a minimal amount of weight supported on your wrists. Done correctly, you should be able to do full squats without feeling pressure in your wrists.