Discover 4 fast science based ways to improve your back squat.
The back squat works your posterior chain including the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings – all incredibly important muscle groups for every athlete. So it is crucial to improve your back squat numbers and you can do that with 4 tips from Jeff Nippard.
Jeff Nippard is a natural professional bodybuilder who shares tips and training programs on his YouTube channel. In his video below, he details 4 fast science based ways to improve your back squat.
These 4 things you can do straight away “will have a near-immediate impact on your strength regardless of your experience level,” Nippard says.
Fast Science Based Ways to Improve Your Back Squat
1. Prime Your Nervous System
By doing drills such as walkouts and pin squats you will be preparing your body for squats with heavy loads.
- Load 95-105% of your one-rep max
Walk the weight out, brace as you normally would, and then walk back in putting the barbell on the rack without squatting.
- Load 65-75% of your one-rep max
Assemble the safety pin of the rack at somewhat the bottom of the squat movement. You simply perform the concentric phase of the back squat. With time, lower the safety pin until your upper legs are parallel to the ground when squatting or even lower than that to a full back squat.
2. Fine-Tune Your Ideal Technique
- Bar position
- Squat depth
- Stance width
Although science surveys show that athletes are stronger while lifting with a low-bar position, most people tend to do back squats with the bar high up on their shoulders. If you want to improve your back squat numbers, perhaps you should test with a low-bar position,
In terms of squat depth, you should experiment with which technique makes you lift heavier loads. For some people, a deep squat can increase their numbers because of the stretch-shortening cycle at the bottom of the movement, while for others (such as powerlifters), squatting below the knee is a waste of energy.
If you are squatting with feet shoulder-width, you should try with feet even wider apart and toes flared out. This technique increases your adductor involvement and eases off your back when lifting.
3. Fitness Gear – Fast Science Based Ways to Improve Your Back Squat
You don’t need any fitness gear to squat big numbers, but if you want to improve it, there are three fitness gear you can have to help you out: belt, knee sleeves, and shoes with a solid sole.
The belt could improve 5-10% of your one-rep max when back squatting.
Knee sleeves can reduce the perception of difficulty allowing you to tolerate more volume. In Nippard’s coaching experience, knee sleeves can help you increase 2-5% of your one-rep max.
Proper lifting shoes will increase your stability and force transfer compared to a runner’s shoes.
4. Set Reasonably Regular PRs
On a regular basis, you should aim to hit new PRs. According to Nippard, that could be a weight PR or a rep PR.
How often you can break your new personal record depends entirely on how advanced of a lifter you are. Novice or detrained people should see new PRs fairly regularly, perhaps weekly.
More advanced lifters, a new PR could be hitting the same exercise with the same load, but with less exertion or better technique. A new weight PR could take up to 10 weeks, depending on your fitness level.
Read More: 8 Squat Secrets EVERY Athlete Should Use to Improve Their Lift
- Back Squat Exercise: Alona Griffiths on Unsplash
- Tia Toomey back squat: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
- Portfolio: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.