How to Box Squat

About the Box Squat

Quite simply, a box squat is a barbell squat performed with a raised platform behind the athlete to enable them to gauge their squatting depth.

As with the traditional squat, the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes are the primary target of the exercise, although to what degree these knee and hip extenders contribute is somewhat down to the stance and depth of the squat. A deeper, wider stance is likely to place greater forces on the hip, therefore causing greater engagement of the hamstrings and glutes.

The athlete should never sit on the box, as doing so would place tremendous stress through the spine, not to mention take tension away from the target muscles. Instead, the box is there to aid the athlete in knowing how deep they have squatted, brushing the box with their backside before forcefully extending the legs and hips to ascend.

How to perform


  1. Place barbell on squat rack, load it with a suitable load and place on the safety collars
  2. Place a raised platform, such as a weight bench or box, within the rack
  3. Position the bar on the back of the shoulders, taking a wide grip on the bar
  4. Carefully dismount the barbell, take a step backwards so you’re in front of the box, and position the feet at a suitable width stance
  5. Torso should remain erect, eyes fixed in front of you


  1. Descend with the barbell by bending at the knees and hips, keeping good posture throughout the exercise
  2. Stop descending once your backside touches the box. Do not sit on the box
  3. Push through the heels, extending the legs and hips to ascend back to the starting position
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

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