RTS Coaching: The Plate Squat


Anyone who is serious about training likes to squat.

Well, let’s be honest – it’s probably more of a love-hate relationship.

Maybe a better way to put it is that everyone who is serious about training respects the squat.

But this leads us to a big question:

How do you teach someone to squat safely, effectively, and in minimal time?

For me, the answer is the plate squat. Here’s why…

After reviewing the video, here are a few big takeaways:

  • I prefer the plate squat over the Goblet squat because the elbows don’t get in the way (and push the knees out excessively).
  • The reach shifts your center of gravity BACK.
  • Shifting the center of gravity back allows you to feel the whole foot.

So with all that being said, here are a few big takeaway points:

  • Set-up with the feet hip/shoulder width apart, toes turned out slightly, and knees soft.
  • Hold a plate and reach long through the upper back.
  • Feel the whole foot and squat as low as you can without losing your lower back position.
    • One of my favorite cues here to keep the foot connection is “Imagine the floor coming up to you.”
  • Feel that whole foot and PUSH to return to the starting position.

The plate squat is my go-to squatting progression, and one I think you can use with great success as well.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

All the best,


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  1. Thanks Mike, great coaching advice. I’ve been using a variation of this technique where I’ll have clients keep the plate at arm’s length, but as they squat down they keep the plate up, so when they’re in their bottom position the plate is actually above the level of their chest or shoulders, or even their head if they hit full depth. Works great.

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