How do I better my squat?
Not surprisingly, this is a very common question among both lifters of all kind and also for the regular gym goer.
To answer that we must first look at the basics. There is no special or secret program that will progress you to an awesome squat. Your sufficiency and technique for the specific lift must be good in order to enjoy true growth.
Once you have established a set up that works best for you, both in terms of stance and bar position, there are two key components that come into play:
- Have a vertical bar path and ensure to keep your chest up
- Don’t lose your position in the bottom of the lift
For the first problem a part of the solution could be incorporating tempo squats in your routine. It means lowering the bar with a speed that allows you to count 21-22-23-24 on the way down. Lets just, to be simple, call it 4 count descent squats.
For the second problem the solution could be using the pause squat. This version means you use regular speed down and do a pause in the lowest position and count 21-22, then push the bar up with maximum force applied. This would be referred to as the 2 count pause squat.
Let’s also not forget the mighty front squat! People often refer to mobility, especially ankles, as central to keeping a straight bar path, but the problem is very seldom there. More often it is an issue of poor mid-section stability and coordination that forces the lifter to lean forward to compensate. Front squats are a good accessory movement to counter this.
There are endless variations of the above lifts to try also, but these are the basic ones.
Remember that your strength in these variations is not the same as in a regular squat. Calculate 1RM to be about 80-85 % of a normal squat.
Give them a try and let us know your feedback!