The Back Squat for Size and Brute Strength, Part 1

Following on from my article “A Case for Compound” I am going to outline some of the different exercises that we at Dominate Athletic™ employ, and why we do so.

This first article in our series of “Dominate Exercises” we will take a closer look at the squat, and in particular, The Back Squat.

This Article on the Back Squat is coming to you in 2 parts, we will first look at what the back squat is and why we should include it in our programmes, and then in part 2, we will go into the specific technique of the Back Squat and some ways of incorporating it into our overall athletic programmes.


The Back Squat is simply a bodyweight squat performed with weight (a barbell) positioned on your shoulders, below your neck (your upper trapezius muscles).

The Back Squat is a foundational exercise here at Dominate Athletic™. As new athletes come in we get them squatting as soon as possible. Although we have them back squatting with just a broomstick and light barbell for the first while, we still put a major emphasis on this exercise as it will form the backbone of our full body strength and size programme.

Why do we use the Back Squat:

1. It is a compound exercise, and we all know why they are important (If not check out my article “A Case for Compound”)

2. It is a great way to teach young athletes proper athletic mechanics. This will be done hand-in-hand with deadlifts, front squats, overhead squats, etc. But the Back Squat goes a long way in getting the basics of athletic movement down, with regard to the hips and trunk.

3. This is possibly the most productive exercise of all for adding overall body mass and developing brute strength. This exercise will add slabs of muscle to your legs, hips and lower back; as well as adding size and thickness to your chest, shoulders, guns and even neck. This is due, in part, to the endocrine response of this full body exercise (it elevates Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone levels acutely), and because the body is not a collection of individual body parts but a network of muscles, tendons and ligaments (soft tissue) that make up the kinetic chain. This means that even though a specific body part may not be a prime mover in a certain exercise, it will (with the right exercise – compound!) still be working (isometrically). This how you can even see an increase in the girth of your neck, for instance, without ever doing any specific, targeted neck work – only squatting!

4. The barbell back squat lays, possibly, the best and most solid foundation of strength and technique in the athlete on which we can develop an awesome athletic physique. We, at Dominate Athletic™, consider the back squat to be a foundational exercise in our programmes, a vital cog in our engine of “developing athletes – Creating Winners™”.

I want to quickly say that the back squat is not the “be all and end all” of our programme, and it should not be for yours either, but it is a great exercise to master and perform on a regular basis in your athletic performance programme so as to lay the athletic and strength foundation to become the most dominant athlete In your world.


Right, we have gone through what the Back Squat is and why we use it at Dominate Athletic™. Look out for part 2 of this article to learn proper squatting mechanics, technique and some ways to slot this exercise into your programme so as to build Size and develop BRUTE strength in order to “Dominate your Competition on Game Day.”

Dig Deep!

Graham Dean.


    DOMINATE ATHLETIC™ is a specialised Athletic Performance Coaching Company based in Cape Town, South Africa.