The Steinborn squat is an exercise named after old-timey strongman Milo Steinborn. The lifter starts with a loaded barbell set vertically, then he pulls it onto his upper back, so that he’s sitting in the bottom of the squat before squatting up.
It’s a cool-looking move, but there are few scenarios where anyone who is not a professional strongman should do it.
“This is a terrible exercise for most people,” says Pat Davidson, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and former world-level strongman. “Most people can’t squat properly to begin with, and now there are going to be barbells flying around gyms and more people than usual hurting themselves. Let’s just squat properly first.”
Without proper training, attempting a lift like the Steinborn squat is definitely a no-go. But the rebuttal is that the movement is functional. After all, your body has the potential to move in a lot of different ways, according to powerlifter David Dellanave, owner of the Movement gym in Minneapolis. While it’s not a good idea to go from out of shape to Steinborn squatting 225, Dellanave says, progressing slowly with the exercise can help you work on a movement pattern that’s useful in everyday life.
“No one looks at a Cirque du Soleil performer and assumes that they’re going to be in a wheelchair in the next moment because they’re moving, bending, flexing, twisting, and extending thei