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Squat for Performance

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French researchers reported in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that performing back squats twice a week could help improve jumping, sprinting and overall athletic performance. Make sure you include squats in your own leg workouts.

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To do them correctly, stand in a wider than shoulder-width stance holding a barbell behind your neck so that it is resting on top of your shoulder blades. Your palms should be facing forward. Bend your knees, lowering your body by leading with the hips. Keep your back and head in a neutral position as you descend until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. At this position, push through your heels and reverse the motion to return to the start.