The Best Squat To Improve Strength And Functionality – Written By Ryan Munsey

The Bottom Up Squat is the best squat you’ve never done. Bottom line – you need to add this move to your training. Keep reading to learn why and how!


Chances are, you see the picture above and have 1 of 2 reactions…

  1. Reaction 1 = “That is awesome. Everyone should squat like that!”
  2. Reaction 2 = “There’s no way I can do that!”

No matter which reaction you have, this picture is here to show you that the human body can and should be able to move like this. Most of us can’t however. And the reason we can’t comes from a variety of factors – but all lead back to movement dysfunction. Knees hurt, low back is tight, poor ankle mobility, poor hamstring flexibility…the list goes on. The good news – this moves shines a light on those issues so we can fix them. And once those issues are identified, moving better & feeling better is a simple fix.

The Solution

The ‘Bottom Up Squat’. In a normal squat, the movement begins from a standing position. As the name implies, the bottom-up squat begins where else – the bottom of the movement. This is an extremely beneficial movement for anyone who wants to get stronger, alleviate pain, improve posture, or become a better athlete. Here’s why:

  1. It builds incredible starting strength. When we go down then up, our body harnesses energy like a rubber band to help us go right back up. Starting the squat from a dead stop removes that no elasticity (the stretch-reflex) forcing us to generate the force needed to overcome gravity. You guessed it, this armour building training makes you strong, explosive, and ridiculously powerful!
  2. The bottom up squat reinforces proper technique. Every rep must begin with perfect for or you’ll fall over, or fail to lift the weight. Sure, you’ve read, heard, and listened to all right cues…but nothing beats experiencing the lesson first hand.
  3. As we mentioned above, the bottom up squat exposes mobility issues. You may not want to discover an imperfection or a flaw, but all progress starts with the truth. This movement will identify movement dysfunctions that can be hidden with other types of squats – and this allows us to identify, address, and correct tight hamstrings, glutes and low backs. And that means you move better and feel better (and you’ll get stronger and bigger).

How To Do It:

The setup is much easier than you might think. All you need is a barbell and a power rack or squat rack. Set the spotter pins where the bar will start in a FULL squat. Get under the bar and squat! See the video below.


  • These can be draining and form can break down if used for high reps. Do more sets of low reps. Something like 6 sets of 3, 8 sets of 2, or 4 sets of 5 works well.
  • Start light. If you have mobility issues, the last thing we want to do is load them heavily.
  • Be sure to set your tightness and create tension before beginning each rep. Pay VERY close attention to your form.
  • Resist the urge to free-fall down knowing the pins will catch you. Push your hips back and descend like a regular squat.

Add the Bottom Up Squat to your training today and build power while helping address mobility issues to move and feel better quickly!


A former athlete, Ryan Munsey has a dietetics degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Clemson University. After graduation, he spurned the traditional R.D. route to pursue fitness modeling in New York City where he also began his career as a personal trainer and nutritionist. Ryan now resides in his hometown of Roanoke, VA, where he continues to train a wide variety of clients including athletes from around the world.

Ryan now runs the house of strength gym in Roanoke, VA. 


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