How to do Jefferson Squats correctly and safely, including exercise benefits and the muscles worked. The Jefferson Squat is a relatively unknown variation of one of the most popular and practiced exercises, the Squat, it also has many benefits.

This page provides information about the Jefferson Squat exercise, and includes how to do step by step instructions. It also includes a video on performing this exercise using the correct technique.

Jefferson Squats Muscles Worked

  • Primary muscle worked – Quadriceps (Thighs).
  • Secondary muscles worked – Glutes (buttocks), Hamstrings, Lower back, Calves and Traps.

All these targeted muscles make this a compound exercise. Compound exercises should always be the main focus and priority of your workouts.

The only piece of equipment required to perform this exercise is a barbell.

Jefferson Squats Benefits

  • Core strength improvements
  • Lower body development
  • Increased fat burning potential
  • Great benefits to your thigh/quads and glutes/buttocks

There are many exercises that have variations to them, the Jefferson Squat is one of the least common, even the majority of experienced weight lifters have never heard of it. While the basic movement of this variation is very similar, the main difference is in the position that you hold the barbell.

How to do Jefferson Squats

  • Stand over the barbell so it’s between your legs, have your toes pointing out at a 90 degree angle, one foot pointing forwards and the other foot pointing out to the side.
  • Grab the bar with an alternating grip, one hand placed in front of you and the other hand holding the bar behind you, legs bent in a squat position.
  • Now keep your back straight with an even grip and slowly lift the barbell with your legs, making sure to balance the barbell evenly between your hands.
  • When standing upright hold for a second and then slowly squat down until the barbell touches the floor or nearly touches the floor (thighs parallel with the floor) and then repeat the movement for the desired reps.

Jefferson Squats Exercise Tips

  • Always use slow and controlled movements.
  • Keep your back straight and as upright as possible.
  • Hold the barbell with an even well balanced grip.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor during the exercise, always maintain your balance.
  • The lower you squat the better the results will be, use smaller weight plates so you can squat down further.

Other Great Leg Exercises




Calf Raises

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One Comment

  1. Nice post!

    I love recommending the Jefferson Squat. It’s great for decreasing spinal loading and working multiple planes of motion at once, which strengthens joints.

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