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Upgrade Your Squat Routine

October 20, 2014


Squat day is the one exercise that a lot lifters don’t get right. Too often you see the wannabe powerlifter hit some sets of squats and then head over to the leg curl and leg extension machines.

While these might be a good idea for the “all show no go,” barb wire tattooed, beach-body types, it is a complete waste of time for the athlete seeking to add plates to the bar.

Instead of doing these exercises, why not vary your stance to hit different muscle groups?

By varying your stance you can still work different muscle groups while mimicking the squat – the lift you are trying to improve.

Don’t get us wrong, not all exercises on squat should be a squat variation. But the bulk of your workload should. Exercises like the RDL, glute ham raise, and reverse hypers are great posterior chain movements and definitely have a place in a serious squat program.

The Formula

Here is an outline of how to implement this idea into your training:

  • Do your normal working sets of squats.
  • Follow this by doing 3 sets of 6 reps of narrow, or “bodybuilder” squats. These will give you the quad work you need while still performing a lift that is very to the squat.
  • Next, perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions of front squats, another quad dominant exercise.
  • After your front squats, do 3 sets of 5 repetitions of wide squats. Wide stance squats focus more on the adductors, hips, and glutes.
  • When you finish your wide stance squats, you are going to do 3 sets of 5 reps of Kang squats, a posterior chain movement.
  • To perform the Kang squat put your feet about shoulder width apart and do a good morning, then drop down into a full squat, reverse the movement by shooting your hips up and getting back into a good morning positions, then finish by doing the up part of the good morning.
  • After you have finished all these squat variations, do 3 sets of 10 reps of glute ham raises.

If you have hit a plateau in your squat, it’s time to change up your routine. When designing your new program make sure that all of the exercises have a high rate of transfer to the squat.

Everyone has a finite amount of time and energy, so don’t go wasting them on useless movements. Exercise smart for better results.

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