Squat Secret #7: Squat Holds with Load
With the use of tempo training highlighted in Squat Secret #4, you’ll be spending time in the bottom of your squat with load. But squat holds are something that you’ll want to do in order to improve your ankle and hip mobility.
I got this gem from the gentleman at ActiveLifeRx and have been using it as tool ever since.
Accumulate 2 minutes within 3 minutes in the bottom of a squat with 33% of your 1RM Front Squat
So if you can do 1 minute unbroken, but then take 30 seconds of rest. Now you’re already at 1:30. Take your rest wisely, and if you go over the 3 minute mark, not how long it took you. Once you can perform this within 3:00, you’re going to increase the weight by about 5-10lb every week until you have reached 50% of your 1RM Front Squat.
Perform this 2-3x per week and commit to the process. It will pay off.
Squat Secret #8: Squat on one leg
I can’t emphasize this one enough, which is why I left it for last. Single leg squatting is vital for balancing your right vs left leg strength while also moving in a different plane of motion.
I used to feel like one side was working harder than the other. And the bar was even slightly crooked. This turned out to be true. A simple test you can use to see where you are at is:
Back Loaded Bulgarian Split Squat – Perform 10RM / leg at 50% of your Back Squat / leg
Front Loaded Bulgarian Split Squat – Perform 10RM / leg at 85% of what the Back Loaded variation should be
Simply start including single leg squatting patterns such as:
- DB Box Step Ups
- RNT Reverse Lunges
- Lateral Step Ups
Every human should be able to perform a pistol squat. That can be another test for you. And the tools I just mentioned can be used to develop strength and stability for the pistol squat.
Start spending more time on one leg, and you’ll probably even notice acute aches and pains start to smooth out over time.
Get After It!
Look, we all want to get strong. Whether it’s for personal fulfillment, improving performance, or showing off to your gym rival. The sooner you can step out the assumption that you need to squat heavy ALL the time, the better off you’ll be.
Step out of the box of movements you’re used to performing and implement some of these Squat Secrets into your training. You certainly don’t need to tackle all of these at once. It’s helpful to have a coach or a structured program to follow that involves many of these concepts for your development.
In the meantime, let’s get after it.
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