Help In Mastering The Squat Posted by DanWynesFitness Increase Your Gains By Gaining Strength On The Weaker Part Of The Lift! Everyone wants to improve a lift but how do you actually go about strengthening a specific area of the lift? Let’s take a Squat for example if you look at the eccentric phase of a lift, more specifically just before you explode up most people will start off slow and as they get higher up the squat gets easier and they can move faster. Now why is this? Because the quadriceps and hamstrings are largely taken out of the movement at this point and it is your core and glutes which power the movement to begin with. So how do we compensate and strengthen this area and what are the main benefits in doing so? Well if you think about it a lot of people may say, just don’t squat as low. Now although in some cases it may be beneficial to do shorter reps if you are looking to maximise the results of the squat for your lower body development then you will need to go full range of motion (below parallel). There are a many ways to improve strength in the lower part of the Squat two of my favourite that I have been utilising are Time Under Tension reps where I take 4 seconds on the eccentric part of the lift pause for a second and then explode up. This eliminates the elastic effect of your quads and hamstrings therefore breaking down the movement so you have to recruit more muscle fibres to complete the movement. You will need to reduce the weight as each rep will take 5-6 seconds to complete. The second movement I have been doing I like to call a Resting Squat. A resting Squat is when you set the safety rack to where you want to start your reps from, typically for me it’s just below parallel. Now unlike the conventional squat where you start from the top of the rack you are now going to start from the bottom. After each rep you are going to pause for a second and allow the bar to rest on the rack and then push from the bottom of the squat using the same form as you normally would. If you have never tried these techniques then give them a go and I guarantee you will feel the difference the next few days. As always I recommend rotating these exercises and using them to your advantage. Do them for 4-6 weeks and then retest your full squat and see how much stronger you are.