3 Ways to Improve Your Squat

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Among the many gems that I gleaned this past weekend during Greg Robin’s Optimizing the “Big 3” workshop was the notion that, contrary to popular thought, the purpose of supplemental work (or exercise) isn’t so much to make an exercise harder, but rather to address a some form of “kink” in one’s technique.

One such example would be deficit deadlifts. These are a very popular supplemental lift for those who are slow off the floor with their pull.  The i

dea being that by elevating yourself on some form of platform or elevated surface you increase the ROM the bar must travel, and thus make the lift harder (and build explosiveness off the floor).

Is that really what’s happening?

Think about it:  you’re decreasing the weight of the bar. If progressive overload is the rule to live by, how can taking weight off the bar help?

For the more visual learners in the crowd here’s a video of me pulling 505 lbs from a deficit to help.

Now, I’m not suggesting that performing deficit pulls – with lighter loads – doesn’t help with building explosiveness off the floor.  Rather, all I’m suggesting is a slight paradigm shift and change of view.

Performing deficit pulls forces me to address my TECHNIQUE!!  Honing my technique and addressing kinks in THAT is what’s going to help me pull more weight in the long run.

I naturally pull with my hips a bit higher than most people – it’s how my body is built.  I’m also very slow off the floor.  So is the increased ROM helping me be more explosive off the floor or is it the fact I’m forcing myself to dip a tad lower and engage my quads a bit more?

Note:  I admit this would be even more applicable if I were puling conventional.

Now lets direct the discussion towards squats and what supplemental (squat) movements help with improving our technique in that realm.

Paused Squats

Anderson (Deadstart) Squats

1-1/2 Squats

In my latest article on BodyBuilding.com I discuss all three variations and why they’re a good choice to help with your squatting performance.

Continue Reading………..

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  • Ben Cameron

    That Tracey Anderson squat looked badass I can see why she doesn’t have to lift more than 3kg after doing a few sets of those

  • Shane Mclean

    nice work Tony. I remember doing Anderson Front squats from Eric’s Maximum strength program. Good times 🙂

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks Shane!