We’ve all been through a frustrating period of stagnation with our squat load. You can keep getting stronger for a long time with the right training, but it’s an exercise that requires persistence.
Increasing squat strength is a common goal for huge numbers of athletes who are serious about performance. That’s because squatting power is useful in nearly all sports.
Aside from just sheer willpower and loading up the squat rack every day, there are some tricks you can use to get ahead and lift heavier and more efficiently.
Here are five tips to improve your squat.
Form is something anyone can improve and there are a number of technical considerations that go into a squat.
A common mistake is walking out too far from the rack which can waste energy. Another is dropping down too slowly on the descent rather than cannoning down quickly to limit unnecessary strain.
Work On Front Squats Too
Doing a squat in an alternative position can help to build smaller muscles that aren’t as engaged in the back squat.
In particular, front squatting can force the body to recruit the anterior core in order to resist flexion. By working on the front squat consistently, you’ll build up stability in the back squat.
Try Paused Squats
Paused squats involve holding your position at the bottom of the movement for up to five seconds.
You might find this painful and mentally challenging at first. But if you persist with it, you could see big results.
Paused squats force you to focus on your technique and make you transition into an explosive upward drive.
Your body is almost certain to have a number of imbalances, whether you’re aware of them or not. Training each leg at a time can minimise these imbalances and build up the weaker limb.
Bulgarian split squats and walking lunges are popular unilateral exercises for the lower body that will work the same muscle groups involved in barbell back squats.
Activate Muscles Before Lifting
A proper warm-up is something tons of athletes neglect but activating muscles before the workout could help you get the most out of your squat.
Glute bridges and single-leg Romanian deadlifts can be used to activate the posterior chain. Piston squats could also be used.