Put your muscles to the test.
It’s no secret that every weight lifter loves leg day. Seriously. It’s not mind-numbingly difficult or torturous what so ever. Often times people complain about leg day and to those individuals we have a few words for you: stop your whining.
Leg day is the one day out of the week where you get to focus on some of the most important muscles to develop in the body. Not only do you work your legs, but with most exercises targeting the legs you must utilize your lower back and your core in the movement as well. Want a strong stomach and back? Then perform some squats to make some major gains in those areas.
Now leg day can be a bit tedious, performing the same exercises over and over can be effective to an extent, but ultimately it’ll run you right into the plateau wall of doom. There’s nothing wrong with switching up your routine now and again, but you don’t want to stray too far from the formula that brought you to the dance. So what exercise should you add or supplement to your leg day training? The Zercher squat, that’s what.
What the hell is the Zercher squat? It’s a variant on the regular squat that most of us are used to. It’s not quite a front squat, but it easy to confuse the movements a bit. Firstly, you perform this exercise at a squat rack. Rather than grip the barbell with your hands you load the bar onto your forearms, lock one of your fist with the opposite hand, and perform the squat from that position. Sounds pretty funky, we know. Maybe you’re wondering what the hell is the benefit to performing squats this way? Well be patient and we’ll tell you.
Great for Beginners
The Zercher Squat is great for beginners. Why? Because it works your technique and the mechanics of the exercise. This squat is more of a hip dominant exercise and will also help to improve your posture as well. This exercise could be the key to improving your regular squat and has the added benefit of not having stress your spine. It’s a win-win.
Remember when we said squats can work your core? Well the Zercher squat emphasizes working the anterior muscles as much as the posterior chain and legs. The stabilizing anterior muscles, namely the abs and core, can some extra work from this motion. If you want to develop more than just your legs and get a stronger core and back then this exercise is for you.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it for all time. If you want to build up your hamstrings, get some monster calves, some major quad work done, and just generally maximize your leg development, then you need to squat low. By focusing the weight towards the front of body, much like a front squat, you can focus more on squatting lower to get a complete range of motion. Utilizing the Zercher squat to improve your squatting depth will eventually translate to your regular squatting movement.
Is the Zercher squat apart of your move set? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.