Anatomy of the Powerlifting Squat

squat muscle activationThis is the second post in a series looking at the the muscles used in each of the lifts which form part of a powerlifting competition, as always there will be some variation as to how much work each muscle is required to do depending on individual anatomy differences and differences in form eg. How wide your stance is when squatting.


Squat is classified as

Basic: A principal exercise that can place greater absolute intensity on muscles exercised relative to auxiliary exercises.

Compound: An exercise that involves two or more joint movements.

Push: Movement away from centre of body during the concentric contraction of the target muscle.

Muscles Used

Target Muscle: The primary muscle intended for exercise.


Synergistic Muscles: A muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement.

Gluteus Maximus
Adductor Magnus

Dynamic Stabiliser Muscles: A bi-articulate muscle that simultaneously moves through the two joints with little change in length, in effect shortening through the target joint and lengthening through the adjacent joint.


Stabiliser Muscles: A muscle that contracts with no significant movement to maintain a posture or fixate a joint.

Erector Spinae

Antagonist Stabiliser Muscles: A muscle that contracts to maintain the tension potential of a bi-articulate muscle at the adjacent joint. The Antagonist Stabilizer may assist in joint stabilization by countering the rotator force of an agonist.

Rectus Abdominis


Was this post useful ? Take a look at –

Part 1:   Anatomy of the Bench Press

Part 3:  Anatomy of the Sumo Deadlift

This entry was posted in Powerlifting, Squat and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Leave a Reply