Starting Position: Two training partners should stand approximately arm’s length away from one another with their feet slightly wider than hip width apart with your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. Position your feet so that the balls of your feet align under your center of gravity. Each partner should outstretch his or her arms so they can grasp each other’s forearms with their hands.
Downward Phase: Each partner should start the downward phase by first shifting your hips backwards then downwards to create a hinge-like movement at your knees. As you lower your hips the knees will then start to shift forward slowly, but try to control the amount of forward translation (movement) of the tibia (shinbone). Brace your core to keep your trunk stable and spine straight. Each partner should maintain a firm grip and allow each other to lean back slightly in order to be able to sink deeper into the hips for a greater range-of-motion.
Each person should continue to lower themself until their thighs are near, or parallel with the floor, or until their heels begin to lift off the floor, or until their torso begins to round or flex forward. Each person should monitor his or her feet, ankles and knees, to maintain control of their feet and knees each person should think about pushing the floor away from them while keeping your knees aligned over the second toe of each foot as they return to a standing position.
Lowered Position: From the front, the knees should continue to remain aligned over the second toe, and body weight should be evenly distributed over both feet. From the side, the position of the tibia (shinbone) and torso should be parallel with each other and the low back should appear flat or showing the beginning of some rounding.
Upward Phase: While keeping a firm grip on one another’s forearms, each person should maintain a straight trunk with a head-up position, and exhale while extending the hips and knees by pushing their feet into the floor through the heels. The hips and torso need to rise together while keeping the heels flat on the floor and knees aligned over the second toe. Each person should continue extending his or her hips until returning to the starting position.
Exercise Variation: Each partner can place his or her feet in a split-squat position with the feet hip width apart and one foot slightly in front of the other. Each partner can balance on a single leg and perform a single leg squat, the act of the partners holding on to one another during the squatting movement will help to maintain the balance on one leg.
Technique is very important in this lift. The tendency is to hold the tibia (shinbone) too vertical which forces you to lean your torso too far forward. Using a mirror for feedback, shift your tibia (shinbone) forward while keeping your heels on the floor, then bring your torso upright back (moving it more upright), but do so from the hips and not through the low back. Squeeze your abdominals to help prevent the excess arching in the back with this correction. If using a squat rack, the safety rungs on the rack should be positioned at mid-thigh level.