Sure you’re pushing yourself to a decent number of squats in your regular routine, but do you really get the most of them?
The biggest gains are made from the most painful parts of movements – you know that but we’re pretty sure you don’t follow it through at all times. And that’s most true with the bottom part of the deadlift squat. Being in “the hole” hurts like a bitch, but that’s because it’s the place where the real gains happen, so you’re not making any progress by avoiding it. Squats are named as one of the most powerful exercises out there – do you think that’s because they’re supposed to be pleasant?
Here’s a valuable piece of advice: if you really want to build strength and muscle mass in the legs, make that dreadful pause in the bottom part of your squat. This will increase the time under tension for your muscles and promote their growth.
When performing a pause squat, you need to come to a complete stop when you’re at the bottom, then come back up with an explosive movement. Ideally, you should go somewhere between 60 to 75% of your 1-rep max for 3 to 6 sets of 4 to 6 reps, and the pauses should last from 3 to 5 seconds each. In addition, make sure you engage your every part of your lower body to support the movement – both for taking the stress off the knees and tendons, and optimizing the growth of the whole lower body musculature. Combine squats with hack squats, leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls, for an extensive lower body workout.
Instead of further discussions on how to do it, just watch Tony Gentilcore’s excellent video:
Inspired enough? Hit the gym right away and give your lower body a solid workout!