Squat Bible - a Review

By Bashir Murtaza · May 23rd 2020
Squatting is a complex move to perform and cause injuries if not done properly. I review Dr. Aaron Horschig's book on mastering the squat. Squat Bible a Review

Squat Bible a Review

The Squat Bible is a powerful book written by Dr. Aaron Horschig and Dr. Kevin Sonthana that will teach you how to master squatting in every way, shape, and form. You’ll learn various methods of squatting. These methods include the front squat, high bar squat, low bar squat, and the overhead squat. After teaching the techniques in great detail and going over every step of the squat, the book discusses various issues people face while squatting. Referred to as the “joint-by-joint concept”, Dr. Horschig goes over mobility, stability, and joint issues all the way from the foot to the shoulders. The book wraps up by going over all the real science of squatting and biomechanics behind it.

The Squat is a Movement First.

In the Squat Bible, the first chapter details how squatting is a movement first and exercise second. Most of us view squatting as trying to move the weight off from top to bottom and trying to move the highest amount of weight. However, squatting (or all exercises in that matter) is not simply just about moving the weight, but about the movement itself. If you can’t perform a 225 lb squat with good form, then what’s the point?

The continuation of this bad form will lead to constant injuries that will hold you back and may possibly even end your lifting career overall. A squat of 135 lbs with good form will always be better than a squat of 225 lbs with bad form, and this is what Dr. Horschig tries to emphasize. The book reviews many examples of athletes getting injured in various ways.

After giving examples of athletes who suffered the same injury the book states, “They could not squat well. They could not perform a deep bodyweight squat with adequate ankle and hip mobility, proper joint alignment, or muscular coordination.” This is something most individuals don’t emphasize. We need to master the basics before attempting the squat with actual weight. The chapter continues on to give proper and detailed examples of how to perform a proper bodyweight squat.

Performing the Squat

The second chapter of the book details how to perform a barbell squat. The barbell squat and bodyweight squat are obviously 2 different things. This chapter outlines the difference and details how the barbell squat requires more demand on the body and therefore has to be performed differently. The chapter also goes over fundamentals before you even touch the bar, such as core stability and proper breathing. What makes this very important and makes this book so great is that it teaches aspects that are often overlooked but will cause issues in the long run. It also follows a logical order of how techniques should be mastered hierarchically rather than scattering everything around and making it confusing to follow.

The chapter goes on to teach how to perform various squat positions with a barbell in a continued logical and highly detailed order. All squats follow the pattern of how to unrack the weight, the proper stance to have before you squat, and the actual movements of descending into the squat, bottoming the squat, and returning to ascent.

Surprisingly, the book does not cover how to re-rack the weight. I've seen people have issues before and would expect the book to cover. Each component of the squat is discussed in great detail with an easy to follow process of how to perform the movement and any accessories you may need. This chapter covers the high bar squat, low bar squat, the front squat, and the overhead squat.

Preventing and Overcoming Injuries

Where The Squat Bible really shines at is with Chapters 3 - 10. The Joint-by-Joint Concept (chapter 3) goes over mobility and stability and how our body must “move and flow in a united matter”. The concept isn’t revolutionary, but Dr. Horschig and Dr. Sonthana do a spectacular job breaking down the concept and additionally breaking up parts of the body into categories of stability and mobility.

After chapter 3, chapters 4-10 cover a different body part. Each chapter breaks down how each body part relates to the movement, how you may suffer certain issues from this body part, and how to fix it. Mobility chapters even have checklists of exercises you may pass or fail to check your mobility and how to overcome or fix anything you may have failed (or get better at the ones you passed). I can’t emphasize enough how insightful each chapter is and how it has personally helped me overcome a couple of injuries myself, and I’m sure helped to prevent plenty as well.

Squat bible mobility

Dr. Horschig testing for scapular instability. (Photo taken from the book)

The Real Science of the Squat

The final chapters of the book spend time debunking squat myths and discuss the real science of the squat. Squats already get a bad reputation, and it’s good to see the book address a lot of these myths and stating why they may be false, or why the myth may exist. The chapter, `The real science of the squat` presents all of the biomechanics of the squat and truly helps you understand how your body is working and maneuvering while performing the squat with or without weight.

squat bible squat angle

Dr. Horschig showing different angles of the squat. (Photo taken from the book)

Final Thoughts

The Squat Bible is one of the best books I’ve read on the topic. I know there are plenty of people who will ask, “Does there really need to be a book just about squatting?” and the answer is yes. Squatting is a very complex movement that can lead to severe injuries if not performed correctly. The Squat Bible manages to address how to perform the squat properly along with issues you may encounter when squatting and much more.

At the end of every chapter of the book, there is a list of references to prove that what they are preaching has been studied, looked at in great detail, and proven to work. If you’re new to squats I suggest you pick up the book. Even if you’re an expert lifter of 10 years, I still suggest you check out this book. You’ll learn something great if you’re a novice or an expert. I give The Squat Bible a perfect 5/5. You can follow them at @squat_university or YouTube under Squat University. Also, check out their website at Squat University here. If you're looking for additional tips to help your squat, check out this post on tips to help your squat

You can get the Squat Bible from Amazon here.

Note: This is an affiliated link. 

About the Author

I'm Bashir and I'm the CEO of Blob Technology and founder of Blob Fitness. With experience in weight lifting, nutrition, and training others for 10+ years, I'm trying to help provide as much content and tools I can to help you along your fitness journey and learn as much as possible.

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