Starting Position: Stand facing your partner approximately an arm's length away from one another. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip width apart and your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. Each partner reaches out his or her arms so that you can each grasp the other's forearms.
Downward Phase: Each partner should start the downward phase by hinging at the hips and shifting the hips back and down. This will also create a hinge-like movement at the knees. As you continue to lower your hips, the knees will start to shift forward slowly. Try to prevent your knees from moving too far forward beyond the toes. Brace your core to keep your trunk stable and spine straight. Each partner should maintain a firm grip and allow one another to lean back slightly in order to be able to sink deeper into the hips for greater range-of-motion.
Both partners continue to lower themselves until their thighs are near, or parallel with the floor. If the heels begin to lift off the floor or the torso begins to round, return to start position. Be aware of any movement that may occur at your feet, ankles and knees. Work to ensure that the feet do not move, the ankles do not collapse in or out and the knees remain lined up with the second toe. Return to a standing position.
Lowered Position: From the front, the knees should continue to remain aligned with the second toe, and body weight should be evenly distributed over both feet. From the side, your shinbone should be parallel with your torso and the low back should appear flat or maybe 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. Exhale and press the feet into the floor through the heels. The hips and torso need to rise together, returning to the start position while keeping heels flat on the floor and knees aligned with the second toe.
Exercise Variation: Each partner can place his or her feet in a split-squat position. The feet should be 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 shinbone too vertical, which forces you to lean your torso too far forward. Using a mirror for feedback, shift your shinbone forward while keeping your heels on the floor, then bring your torso 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.