The squat is without a doubt, the king of all weight training exercises. Although the bench-press will be a good indicator of your upper body strength, it is only the squat that will indicate your inner core strength or your total body strength. The correct technique, like all exercise, is vital when doing a squat. This article is going to assume that you have been through and learnt the basics of how to squat. But in order to summarize the basics so that we are all on the same page when it comes to squats there are a few points.
There are a few tips which follow below that will help you increase and squat with more weight. The selection of sets and reps and you choose to do is going to depend on how long you have been training. If you have not been training with weights for more than a year then you should do 4 x 10. But you need to make sure that you are progressively increasing the weight that you are squatting with. This will make sure that your inner core strength will be increasing with every squat workout. The result is a thicker abdominal cavity and a thicker neck.
The Golden Rules to Squat More Weight
Here are some basic principles from Shaun Swilling to help you maximize the weight you can squat. Shaun has a history in weight lifting and has written these tips based on his experiences. If you agree with these tips, find them effective, or have some feedback, be sure to comment below.
Sit Back, Not Down
This is important as you’ll never squat huge weights with quadriceps alone; You need to use what God gave you to squat and they are the hip extensors, glutes, hamstrings, and adductor magnus – are the muscles responsible for building big squats
Brace Hard and Get a Belly Full of Air
This is another important point as gulping in a lung full of air is not going to help. You need to get that breath into your belly. Let you weight belt out a notch so that you can measure the push out of your stomach.
Pull the Bar into Your Upper Back
This might sound obvious but the bar should not be on your shoulders but farther down on your upper back. The reason is that given the lats’ attachment on the thoracolumbar fascia, it will increase core stability as well. That bar shouldn’t move from the upper back at all.
Pull the Elbows Up and Forward
This will have the effect of popping your chest upwards. The advantage of this is to ensure that the weight keeps pressing down on the quads as you will now be in a position that you simply cannot look down to see your feet.
Grip the Floor
This might sound a bit crazy but you are what you think when squatting so make sure that you are gripping a solid floor. You are not a sprinter or a dancer that wants to be light on their feet. You want to be solid as a rock and grip the floor with flat feet.
Check Your Footwear
You should wear sneakers that do not have an extra padded sole. You want to FEEL the floor underneath you and having extra cushion on your heels can potentially destabilize your squat. A normal average cushion should be fine.
Create a Shelf for the Bar
What this means is that the best place to put your bar in not on the neck but on the upper back. You should pinch the shoulder blades together; when the trapezius complex and rhomboids “bunch up,” there isn’t any place for the muscle mass to go but “out.”