HOW to Squat for Powerful Legs

August 20, 2012

Most people in America don’t squat.  In some countries squatting is as routine as going to the bathroom (literally).  Unfortunately, things like the leg press, adductor machine, and the elliptical have become the standard for trainees on “leg days”.

Maximal strength exercises are the key to getting the most out of your lower body training because the heavier loads require greater amounts of GRF (See Sparta Point).  Squats are particularly beneficial for athletes who need LOAD of force development which is linked to calf and quad strength (See Sparta Point).

Additionally, the hormonal, metabolic, and psychological benefits of getting under a heavy weight are undeniable.  Bottom line - moving heavy weights is good for the mind, body and soul…

Not all of the athletes at Sparta squat (based on each individuals’ need for LOAD of force development). But when they do squat, there are a few key coaching cues that ensures that the movement they do is a real squat and not some form of indiscernible stooping action.

Today’s movement education covers the basics:

  • Positioning
    • Feet
    • Knees
  • Sequencing
    • Glutes
    • Calves

Proper progression is necessary for safety, learning, and improved performance.  At Sparta, beginners start by front squatting (safety) in moderate reps (performance) with higher rest periods (learning).

Sets, reps and weight are progressed based on each athlete’s competency rather than a predetermined percentage of their 1 RM.  This allows for appropriately challenging workouts every week, and takes into account variations in their physical, mental and neurological state.

Think about these coaching cues next time you squat, and watch your strength improve and your calves blow up.

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