One of the most important aspects of the barbell squat is the ability to keep the bar centered over the midfoot throughout the entire rep. This optimal bar path ensures that there are no additional moment arms to work against, therefore, maximizing lift efficiency. Allowing the bar to drift forward over the midfoot creates a position of imbalance, forcing the hips and low back to work HARDER to lift the same amount of weight. This is simply not efficient.
Centering the bar over the midfoot becomes increasingly important as you perform closer to your 1-rep max. The difference between a good and a missed attempt, at this point, can boil down to the slightest deviation of drift. To assess my bar path, I utilize an app called Iron Path. As you can see in the video, although it’s not perfect (something I am continually working on), each rep travels essentially through the same bar path. Film your squat from a side-angle and enter into the Iron Path app to analyze YOUR bar path!