Exercises You Should Be Doing: Barbell Rolling Squat
Hope everyone had a lovely July 4th weekend this past weekend. We sure did.
Lisa and I were up in Maine – Pemaquid Point to be exact – for a wedding, and it was a stark reminder that it’s the perfect anecdote to the hustle and bustle of Boston.
Having a few day’s reprieve from honking horns, sirens, and people in general was amazing. Plus, the air in Maine is so much more crisp and clean. I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.
We got back into Boston early yesterday so that we could partake in our annual July 4th Epic Walk of Epicness.
Nothing out of the ordinary since we walk around the city all the time. However, going for a “long-ass walk” on the 4th is something Lisa and I started doing a few years ago and we’ve continued on with the tradition.
Plus, there aren’t many cities that do July 4th better than Boston.
We left our apartment around noon and when it was all said and done we covered nine miles and had our fair share of cookie and pizza pit-stops.
That’s how we roll.
Anyways, as thrilling as it is reading about my walking prowess, I’m sure you’d rather me get to the meat and potatoes of today’s post.
Barbell Rolling Squat
This can also be considered a poor man’s version of the hack squat. Except, you know, without the $1000+ piece of equipment involved that can only be used for one thing.
So, a more apropos way of putting things is that this is the “savvy business man’s” version of the hack squat.
Who Did I Steal It From: Greg Nuckols during one of his and Omar Isuf’s Lifting Lyceum presentations.
NOTE: If you have a chance to hop in on their next go-round, you’d be stupid not to. It’s a wonderfully detailed resource that goes into the nitty gritty on squat, deadlift and bench press technique as well as program design.
Go HERE for more information.
NOTE II: I receive no monetary value or kick-back in telling you to check it out. Unless you count a video of Greg lip-syncing Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” as a form of compensation. Which it should.
NOTE III: Lets make it happen Greg….;o)
What Does It Do: The rolling squat serves as a nice accessory movement to better target the quadriceps.
As Greg noted during his squat presentation, and I agree with him if that means anything1, many lifters have been programmed into thinking the squat is ALL posterior-chain, to the point where having weak quads may become a limiting factor.
When the goal is to lift as much weight as humanly possible, there’s definitely merit to utilizing the posterior chain to a higher degree. However, this doesn’t imply the quadriceps should be ignored.
As far as the quads being a limiting factor is concerned, this is most apparent when you witness someone come out of the hole on their squat and their hips shoot up way too fast, to the point where they run the risk of falling too far forward onto their toes.
Having stronger quads (or the ability to engage them to a higher degree) will help people better put force INTO the ground and maintain a more upright torso.
READ: This IS NOT to imply a forward lean is frowned upon or wrong. It isn’t. Just, you know, falling forward onto your face will tend to stagnate things.
Key Coaching Cues: You won’t need a lot of weight with this. For most guys, 95-135 lbs will be more than enough. For women, 45-85 lbs will suffice.
Also, use BUMPER plates.
In addition, it helps to have a very forgiving training facility to perform these. A brick or cement wall is best. Doing this exercise against a drywall won’t end well.
Hoist the barbell overhead and set up as you would for a normal squat. Lean back towards the wall until the plates are resting, adjust feet to shoulder width apart, scoot a few feet forward, and then squat down as low as you can.
These are best done for high(er) reps, in the 10-20 range.
PS: I’ve gotten a few comments from people on why this exercise is any different than “regular” squat, even with the suggestion of moving my feet forward a bit away from the wall?
Answer: Because I’m LEANING INTO THE WALL. Hence the name “barbell ROLLING squat.” Apologies for not making that more clear on my end….;O)
Comments for This Entry
TrishIt's like you're reading my diary, Tony. LOL This is great. Was just working on an article and one of the things I'm eager to address in that and my training is the hips shooting out issue. Excited to try this one out!
July 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm |
TonyGentilcoreGlad you liked it Trish. I feel we're at a point where we've been so programmed that it's posterior chain 100% of the time, that the quads are getting the shaft. This is a nice option to hammer that area. Along with other exercises like step-ups, split squats, Bulgarian split squats, and yes......even the leg press.
July 6, 2016 at 10:55 am |
AsdfTony, I'm a bit unclear on this - how is it different to a normal squat other than being closer to a wall? I can understand if you are rolling the weights along the wall as you go up or down or if the wall is a cue of some kind; but by moving a few feet out from the wall and you dont have the plates against the wall; so I cant see what we are meant to be focusing on.
July 6, 2016 at 1:21 am |
TonyGentilcoreThe plates are rolling on the wall in the video. Hence, why it's called a "rolling squat." Unless I'm mis-reading your comment?
July 6, 2016 at 10:53 am |
AsdfThanks Tony - I couldn't see them rolling, must have been a perspective issue So could you do this on a smith machine? Would that have the same effect ie up and down in a straight line? Or the old 'exercise ball between your back and the wall' activity (that would be an unweighted version)
July 6, 2016 at 7:39 pm |
TonyGentilcoreYou could use the Smith Machine for sure. I like this variation because it doesn't require an expensive piece of equipment.
July 7, 2016 at 11:10 am |
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July 7, 2016 at 11:02 am |
Kyle Schuant"The rolling squat serves as a nice accessory movement to better target the quadriceps." To do this exercise you have to clean the bar, press it over your head, and lower it back down. So you'll be limited by what you can clean and press. Unless you've dedicated your life as a curlbro (in which case you can't clean), your press is not going to be more than half your (low or high-bar) back squat. So you're squatting with less than 50% of your 1 rep maximum. If you do enough reps you might get a "burn", but you are not going to provide enough of adaptive stimulus to effect strength or size changes. It would be simpler to just go and do BodyPump.
July 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm |
TonyGentilcoreWhich is why, Kyle, I propose it's done for high(er) reps. For guys 95-135 lbs should suffice. Some may be able to go with 185 +. And, you know, they should be done after (heavy, regular) squats. Plus, it's a nice option for those who don't have access to a Smith Machine.
July 11, 2016 at 12:39 pm |
shapeshifter7How is this different from using a Smith machine? Oops I see my answer below. It's not.
July 10, 2016 at 9:19 am |
jayson leisenringReally good one. Took me a while to figure out what you were doing but I like it.
July 10, 2016 at 10:19 am |
CROF Weekly Update July 17th - Crossroads of Fitness[…] Exercises you should be doing: Barbell Rolling Squat via Tony Gentilcore […]
July 18, 2016 at 1:57 pm |
Movement Therapy For All Your Squats - Love Life Fit[…] drill one can incorporate is this cool one from Tony Gentilcore: the barbell rolling squat, which sounds like a fun amusement park ride rather than an […]
July 20, 2016 at 5:13 pm |
Alex CaneI am looking forward to trying this also. Thanks for sharing!
August 14, 2016 at 5:28 pm |
Alex CaneI am looking forward to trying this also. Thanks for sharing!
August 14, 2016 at 6:28 pm |
james BixInteresting variation to improve quads, I need to find a wall now to do it on at my local gym
January 2, 2017 at 6:35 am |