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Daniel Mesa

ATG Squat: How To & Benefits

If you want to improve your squatting abilities and learn how to maximise the benefits of this classic lower-body workout, you’ve come to the right place. In the following article, we’ll delve into the world of the ATG squat, covering everything from proper execution and targeted muscle groups to the plethora of benefits it brings. Whether you’re a fitness veteran or just getting started, the ATG squat is a game-changer that can dramatically improve your lower body strength and mobility. So, come on in and experience the benefits of ATG squats with me!

What Is The ATG Squat?

ATG Squat, also called “Ass to Grass” Squat, is a way to squat that gives your lower body a great workout. In an ATG squat, you go down far enough so that your hips are below your knees when you reach the bottom. 

The ATG Squat was largely popularized by the Knees Over Toes Guy and his ATG Programs. The philosophy of knees over toes revolves around the idea of pushing the limits ofy oru lower body to keep it health, prevent injury, and improve performance.

A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy demonstrated that squats contribute to enhanced lower body strength and stability, making ATG squats a valuable exercise for similar outcomes.

ATG Squat Meaning

Traditional squats only require your knees to bend halfway, but ATG squats require your knees to bend all the way. This engages and challenges your muscles throughout the entire action.

This depth in the squat requires excellent flexibility, mobility, and strength in the lower body, making it an advanced variation of the classic squat. The ATG squat is a challenging exercise that has enormous potential benefits for improving strength, stability, and performance in the lower body once mastered.

How To Do ATG Squat

Start Position

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward. This stance provides a stable foundation for the squat and allows for proper alignment of your knees and hips.

Engage Core and Initiate Squat

Before going down, use your core muscles to keep your back straight and your chest up. To start a squat, push your hips back and bend your knees at the same time. This pattern of movement makes sure you stay balanced and in control during the whole workout.

Reach Full Depth

 Descend slowly and steadily, aiming to go as low as possible. Your goal is to bring your glutes below your knees, achieving the “Ass to Grass” position. Proper depth is essential for maximizing the benefits of the ATG squat and engaging the targeted muscle groups fully.

Maintain Proper Alignment

Keep your weight in the middle of your feet as you squat. This keeps you from putting too much pressure on your knees and makes sure that your lower body muscles are working right. Also, make sure your knees stay in line with your toes and don’t collapse inward or move outward.

Powerful Ascension

To return to the starting position, push through your heels and drive your hips and knees upward. Fully extend your hips and knees as you rise. This part of the movement emphasizes the engagement of your glutes and quads, contributing to overall lower body strength.

Consistent Repetitions

Maintaining proper form, squat for the specified number of repetitions. When you’ve mastered the ATG squat and want to keep your lower body workout fresh and effective, try raising the weight or adding some modifications.

Our ATG Squat Form Tips

  • Before attempting any ATG squats, make sure you’ve properly warmed up your muscles and joints.
  • To master your form and depth, begin with your own body weight or much lighter weights.
  • Holding a firm core and a straight back will help you avoid leaning too far forward when you squat.
  • Do your ATG squats in front of a mirror so you can keep tabs on your form and progress.
  • Improve your range of motion by stretching and doing mobility exercises to loosen up your hips, ankles, and hamstrings if you’re having trouble getting around.

ATG Squat Muscles Worked

ATG squats engage a wide range of muscles, making them an excellent full-body exercise. The primary muscles worked during ATG squats include:

Quadriceps: The muscles at the front of your thighs are heavily involved in straightening your knees during the ascent.

Hamstrings: Located at the back of your thighs, these muscles help stabilize and control the squatting movement.

Glutes: Your glute muscles are activated throughout the squat, particularly during the upward phase.

Adductors and Abductors: These muscles located in your inner and outer thighs assist in maintaining proper knee alignment.

Calves: Your calf muscles contribute to stabilizing your ankles during the movement.

Core: Your core muscles are engaged to maintain stability and control throughout the squat.

ATG Squat Benefits

ATG squats offer a plethora of benefits, making them a highly effective exercise for overall lower body strength, flexibility, and stability. Some of the key benefits include:

Increased Mobility and Flexibility

When done regularly, ATG squats can make the hips, ankles, and knees much more flexible. Deep squatting helps to loosen up these areas of the joints, which improves your range of motion in everyday activities and your success in sports.

Stronger Lower Body

ATG squats are an excellent exercise for gaining lower body strength because they include a large muscle group and a deep range of motion. Stronger and more powerful leg muscles result from a focus on the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.

Better Postural Control

ATG squats require significant stabilization throughout the movement, enhancing your overall balance and postural control. This improvement in stability carries over to your daily activities, making you more adept at maintaining proper posture and form during various tasks.

Alternatives To The ATG Splitsquat

While ATG squats are highly effective, they may not be suitable for everyone due to individual mobility limitations or injury concerns. Here are some alternative exercises that offer similar benefits: 

ATG Front Squat

Different from the standard ATG squat, which has the barbell resting on the back of the shoulders, the ATG Front Squat has the barbell resting on the front of the shoulders. This is a great choice for individuals who want to focus more on the front of their thighs because of the extra emphasis placed on the quadriceps. 

ATG Front Squats not only strengthen the quadriceps, but also the glutes and the core, resulting in a more powerful and stable lower body. The barbell is front-loaded, which encourages a more upright stance, which in turn strengthens the core and improves balance. Strengthen your body and your muscles and activate them more effectively to improve your squatting performance with ATG Front Squats.

Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian Split Squat is an exercise that you do with just one leg. You put one foot on a raised platform behind you and squat with the other leg. This change helps improve leg strength, balance, and stability. The back foot is raised, which puts more pressure on the front leg and works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. 

Also, Bulgarian Split Squats work the muscles in the core and hips that help keep the body in the right shape. Because each leg has to work on its own, this practice is especially good for fixing muscle imbalances between the legs. 

By adding Bulgarian Split Squats to your workout routine, you can improve the strength and flexibility of your lower body as a whole. This can help you move better in daily life and sports.

Goblet Squat

To do the Goblet Squat, a kettlebell or dumbbell is held close to the chest in a squatting position. This move is great for strengthening your abs and thighs at the same time. The front-heavy aspect of the Goblet Squat forces one to engage their core muscles in order to maintain upper-body stability, which in turn improves one’s posture and strength. 

It’s great for strengthening and toning your lower body because it concentrates on your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. 

The Goblet Squat provides a more controlled action and more depth in the squat, making it an excellent alternative for beginners or those with restricted mobility. Lower body strength, squat technique, and core stability can all benefit from include Goblet Squats in your workout regimen.

Bottom Line On ATG Squat

ATG squats can be a game-changer for your strength, mobility, and general fitness if you do them as part of your lower body workout routine. ATG squats are a great way to improve your performance in many sports because they work a lot of different muscle groups and increase your range of motion. 

Proper form and progression are important for any exercise, so start with your own body weight or lighter weights and gradually raise the intensity as your strength and confidence grow. With ATG squats, you can build a strong, mobile, and durable lower body. Take on the task, stay consistent, and enjoy the journey!


Are ATG Squats safe for beginners?

ATG Squats can be safe for beginners, but starting with proper form and appropriate weight is essential. Beginners should focus on mastering the movement with body weight or lighter loads before adding more resistance.

How deep should I squat during an ATG Squat?

The depth of your ATG Squat will depend on your mobility and flexibility. Aim to squat as low as you can while maintaining good form. If possible, strive to reach a point where your glutes are below parallel with your knees.

Can ATG Squats help improve athletic performance?

Yes, ATG Squats can contribute to improved athletic performance. Targeting major lower body muscle groups enhances strength, power, and flexibility, which are essential for athletic movements such as jumping, running, and changing direction.

What equipment do I need for ATG Squats?

ATG Squats can be performed with just your body weight or with added resistance using barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells. A squat rack or power rack is helpful for safety and stability when using heavier weights.

How often should I do ATG Squats in my workout routine?

The frequency of ATG Squats in your workout routine depends on your fitness goals and overall training program. Including them, 1-3 times a week is generally recommended, with adequate rest days in between to allow for muscle recovery and growth.