How to Improve Your Squat

How to Improve Your SquatEvery weight lifter experiences the plateau; that time during your workout program when you are no longer making gains and may have even regressed some.  For weight lifters and athletes, this plateau is something that can easily be fixed with a little focus and dedication.

In the gym, there are some exercises that many want to add weight and perform as much as possible.  The squat is one of these exercises and when you can squat more, you are able to do much more with your lower part of your body.  Continually increasing you squat means that you continue to make regular gains or it means you have learned to overcome a plateau, both of which are great feats.  If you are like a great majority; however, consider the tips below to help improve your squat so that you can reach your goals.

Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Squat

  1. Focus on your Technique. If you constantly are trying to work hard to improve your squat lifts and you have not made any gains in recent memory, consider working solely on your technique.  When you break down heavy lifting, it is often easy to see that form fails.  When your form fails, you may be able to lift the weight up once or twice, but you may are most likely not working your glutes as much as you think.  If you perform a back squat regularly in the gym, consider bringing your weight down a bit and working with more reps and perfect form.  Try this for the next two weeks and slowly return back to form, keeping a strict eye on your lower back, chest, and hips.  If you find that your form is struggling even with lighter weight, consider performing wall squats to help guide you through the exercise [1].
  2. Pause the Hips when Lowering Down. If you have not made the gains you wanted recently, consider squatting like you are a body builder.  Body builders are trained to lower the glutes down, pause, and lift upon command [2].  The pause when lowering down not only will get you deep in your glutes, but it will train your muscles to have command over the weight and to explode on the lift upward.  Start with lighter weight until you are comfortable holding a two or three second pause when lowering into squat position.  Focus on driving the hips forward and lifting the weight up on the lift.
  3. Deep Squats. If you are in need of a quick fix, this may be your exercise.  A deep squat will take your glutes through a wider range of motion and is designed to have your glutes touch your ankles on the way down.  If you have never performed a deep squat, start with just your body weight to get used to the motion.  Once you are comfortable, slowly add weight to increase your overall performance.
  4. Squat Pulses. This style of squat will add endurance and strength in your legs in no time.  Start out by lowering into your usual squat so that your knees reach a 90 degree angle.  On your way up, stop half the way up, and descend into the squat again.  Lift the weight back up to a standing position.  This pulse on the way up will not only keep your legs toned and strong, but the little pulsing action will add a little more power in your muscles and this could help increase your performance.
  5. Add More Weight. Maybe you have not been making gains in your squat because the weight is not heavy enough.  In other words, maybe you are not getting as much as you could be from your workout.  Depending on your program, you should be hitting at least 90-95 percent of your one-rep maximum on your last set.  If you are not making this intensity, consider having a friend or trainer help spot you so you can reach your full potential.  Give yourself a few weeks to start seeing these amazing results in your squat performance.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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