Fundamentals of Squatting

We decided to provide this guided tutorial for free to you, our subscribers. Countless hours went into filming, editing, writing, and publishing this content and KMS is the product of our wish to share knowledge and experience with the community at large. If you enjoyed this tutorial we would encourage you to join KMS and become a member. There are hundreds more videos and other guided tutorials like this one, accessible for a $9.99 monthly fee and along with a $25 initiation fee (using discount code "newsletter-kms"). Feel free to share this squat tutorial and help us make the world a better place through strength and proper movement! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter!

How to Use This Tutorial

This tutorial is not a replacement for a qualified coach, however it covers a broad range of topics in incredible detail and will serve useful to just about anyone - from the competitive athlete, to the clinician, to the average joe training to stay healthy. The tutorial is very comprehensive and detailed, and has been laid out in a specific format intended to be followed from start to finish. Make sure to watch each video and perform the exercises along with the coaches, repeating until you are certain you have it down. We recommend you go through this tutorial once at home, then take it to the gym with you and put into practice what you've learned, starting with the basic exercises and movements and moving all the way to the squat movement itself. Enjoy and stay strong! 

Table of Contents

1.1-1.3…Breathing 101

2.1-2.5…Bracing (IAP) 101


3.3-3.6…Glute Activation

3.7-3.13…Restoring Scapular Function

4.1-4.3…Squat Specific Cueing

5.1-5.2…Special Developmental Exercises

6.1-6.3…Trouble Shooting Achy Joints

7.1-7.3...Other Videos and Resources Regarding the Squat

8.0...Further Coaching



Efficient breathing patterns are the foundation to proper movement. Having refined patterns for performance sets the stage for maximal force transfer under load as well as lessening the risk of injury. Because this process is automated by our bodies we must take a mindful approach when attempting to reprogram faulty patterning.

1.1 An overview of diaphragmatic breathing

1.2 Specific strategies for reprogramming faulty breathing

1.3 Specific strategies for reprogramming faulty breathing continued

Coaching Points: When it comes to correcting improper breathing patterns we must make mindful observations throughout the day (not only in the gym) and create positive interventions as needed. Proprioceptive techniques such as the breath right cue, or the clavicle cross may be effective. From a practical application standpoint, we recommend taking 20-30 conscious breaths when you become aware of a fault during normal activity.

Additional Videos and Resources on this Topic:

Breathing is NOT Bracing



Across all activity that requires forceful intentions, learning how to create, hold, and maintain a proper brace is a fundamental technique to higher performance. Bracing or intra-abdominal pressurization (IAP) is the prime means to force transfer from the point of contact (usually the ground) through the implement. Not only is proper IAP important for realizing strength potential but is also a fundamental role in injury prevention through proper joint centration.

2.1 An overview of IAP with Dr. Phillip Snell and Chris Duffin

2.2 Discussion with Dr. Phillip Snell and Chris Duffin – Squatting with a stacked cylinder

2.3 Teaching how to create IAP in the Deadbug with progression

2.4 Stir the pot – An ab training drill to build bracing strength and endurance 

2.5 Okinawan strength technique to bring proprioceptive awareness to proper IAP

Coaching Points: Following proper breathing patterns, learning to brace and maintain IAP under load must be practiced intensively. Drills that build bracing efficiency must be done with very focused effort so once maximal loads are applied the action is automatic. The above bracing techniques work very well when combined with focused breathing practice. From injury prevention to force potential, generating quality IAP is of paramount importance.

Additional Videos and Resources on this Topic:

KMS Public | The Classic Plank


Ground up Approach to Squat Technique and Cues

Starting from the ground up, the following section is designed to breakdown areas of the squat into easily digestible technique and cues. Keep in mind while practicing the following that the above breathing and bracing strategies should always be at the forefront of your focus.


Technique #1 Rooting

This coaching section is designed to introduce the concept of rooting through the ground. Rooting is a fundamental technique for establishing upstream joint centration and setting the stage for force transfer in all close chain movement. At all phases of a rooted lift special consideration should be made to maintain 3 points of contact in the foot.

3.1 Rooting – General overview of the concept

3.2 Advanced Rooting Techniques 


Technique #2 Glute activation

As a prime mover in the squat the glutes act as a powerful hip extensor. The following section details exercises to strengthen, and improve the function of the glutes relative to the squat pattern.

3.3 Clamshell

3.4 Diagonal Sit

3.5 Single Leg Bridge 

3.6 Band Bad Girl


Technique #3 Improving Scapular Function

A properly functioning scapula is key to transferring force from the ground all the way through the bar. With faulty scapular / shoulder function our strength potential will be limited. The following section details progressive drills to help improve scapular function as well as tying everything in.

3.7 Wall Angel

3.8 Seated Reach. Only move onto this progression once you’ve successfully completed the wall angel

3.9 Banded Wall Angel. Only move onto this progression once you’ve successfully completed the wall angel

3.10 Wallbug

3.11 Komodo Dragon

3.12 Overhead Squat RNT

3.13 How and where to grip a squat


Squat specific cueing

The following section is designed to introduce members to common squat cues with intention to make positive interventions to technique.

4.1 Stop the freight train

This cue has been proven effective for individuals who fall forward in the squat or let their hips raise faster than knees extend.

4.2 Stand Tall

The cue “stand tall” may be useful for those who stand with a slightly unhinged position or forward head position.

4.3 Cueing the hip hinge


Special developmental exercises for the squat

This section provides low risk movements that may be used to cue specific movement or inserted with intent to improve specific qualities.

5.1 Goblet Squat

The goblet squat is best used as a teaching / cueing tool or as quick movement prep work,

5.2 Stallion Squat

The stallion squat is best trained at medium to high reps. This should likely be avoided for those with knee pain.

Troubleshooting Achy Joints

To finish this guided tutorial, we are going to look at common joint and soft tissue issues that arise with increased squat training.

6.1 Patella tracking issues

6.2 Hip flexor rehab

6.3 Elbow pain


Other Videos and Resources Regarding the Squat

7.1 Squat Tutorial by Coach Duffin at SuperTraining Gym


Further Coaching

If you require further coaching and help on the squat or other movements, be sure to subscribe to (use code "newsletter-kms" to save $25). If you would like personalized 1-on-1 attention, we offer comprehensive virtual coaching services with a staff of in-house coaches ready to help you fulfill your goals.