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Paleo Fitness Exercise: The Racked Squat

With a racked squat, you perform a squat with weight held in the rack position (in front of your chest). This squat is best done with two kettlebells, two dumbbells, or a sandbag. Racked squats stress the core in a unique way and light up your abs.

When starting out with “racked” exercises, start with just one weight (either a kettlebell or dumbbell) in the rack to get accustomed to the position before moving onto two weights.

Follow these steps to do a racked squat:

1

Clean the weight up into the rack position, assuming a shoulder-width stance approximately one foot behind the weight you’re using and point your toes slightly outward

Keep your forearms vertical and tight against your rib cage. Take a small step if needed to assume your squatting stance (feet, shoulder-width apart; toes out).

2

Take a deep breath into your belly and start your squat.

Imagine you’re pulling yourself down between your legs. Keep your back flat, heels on the ground, and knees in line with the toes.

Be sure to keep air in your belly throughout the movement to help keep your spine safe.

3

When you’ve hit your maximum depth, push your heels into the ground, drive your hips forward, and stand up.

When you load a movement — meaning you add weigh to it — you cement the pattern. Don’t push the weight until your form is near faultless.

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