Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zercher Squats

One of my friends was asking me about squatting with the bar across the arms the other day. This post is for him.

Here is JV Askeem's take on Z-lifting, as he calls it:

Z Lift

Here is a sandbag Zercher Squat:

http://www.mbodystrength.com/sazesq.html

I prefer the sandbag to the bar, personally, because the arms don't get constricted by a heavy bar pressing down on the muscles. Instead, you get a more "natural" lay of the weight as it seeks to trickle down around the arms.

When you zercher squat, you'll find you end up naturally keeping a tall posture, a big chest, and sitting back. You have to, or you'll dump the bar or bag. This makes it a little more self-correcting than the back squat. If you go too heavy on a back squat, you can end up rising hips first and then shoulders second instead of simultaneously. With a zercher squat, if you do that at all, the weight pulls you forward and you can't complete the lift easily. You don't want to lose the bar or bag, so you sit back more and thus keep an even hips and shoulder rise speed.

Finally, here is my very own strength coach doing a zercher squat in a rack:



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