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Popquiz power lifters: which squat is the most important?

Clue: It's the first one out of the rack. You see, if you don't set up correctly for any weight-lifting move, at best you just won't access all your personal power, and at worst, you'll get injured.

And since the squat is the absolute building block of any powerlifting programme, nailing it EVERYTIME is vital. So take a couple of seconds to set yourself up. Check the bar is at the right height. Them bring yourself in really close to the bar - so close in fact that when you look down over the bar at your feet, the bar is about level with your mid foot. Now it's time for the first and most important squat. So lean back and draw your head under the bar. You want the bar a little bit below your shoulders, on the soft part of your upper back for proper alignment. Then screw in the feet, brace your core, shoulders back, head up. NOW AND ONLY NOW are you're ready to lift the weight out of the rack. Take a couple of steps backward keeping your body as still as possible to keep that set-up position in place. Now squat it like it's hot people!!!

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