How do you increase your Squat?
So I decided to write an article on how to increase your Squat — 50 Ways To Increase Your Squat.
Before you start: this article is meant for the low bar, Powerlifting style, Back Squat (pic above). But you can apply most tips to Olympic & Front Squats.
1. Use the Maximal Effort Training Method. Heavy singles at +90% intensity for 3 to 7 sets once a week.
2. Strengthen your Quads. Front Squats & Olympic Squats. No leg extensions.
3. Strengthen your Hips. Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, Box Squats, Power Cleans, Glute-Ham Raises, Pullthroughs, Reverse Hypers, …
4. Strengthen your Glutes. Deep Olympic & Front Squats (below parallel, ATG), Kneeling Squats, Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, …
5. Strengthen your Lower Back. Deadlifts, Goodmornings, Weighted Hyperextensions, Reverse Hypers, …
6. Strengthen your Upper Back. Bent-Over Barbell Rows, Pendlay Rows, Pull-ups, Deadlifts, Rack Pulls, Power Cleans, Power Snatch, High Pulls, …
7. Strengthen your Abs. Turkish Get-Ups, Front Squats, Zercher Squats, Overhead Squats, Windmills, Waiter Walks, Weighted Roman Chair Situps, …
8. Unilateral Work. Lunges, Step-Ups, Bulgarian Squats, One Leg Deadlifts, …
Increase Speed9. Go Faster. Squat as fast as you can. Start with your warm-up: explode from the bottom. The more you do this, the better you become.
10. Speed Squats. Do several sets of doubles & triples at 70-80% intensity. Not lighter or you’ll spend more time decelerating rather than accelerating the bar.
11. Bands. Popularized by Westside Barbell: bands will teach you to accelerate the bar. Attach bands to your bar & squat against the resistance.
12. Chains. Another accommodating resistance method. Chains also teach you to accelerate the bar.
13. Chains + Bands. Be creative, feel free to mix both for maximal results.
14. Jump Squats. I’m not a big fan of these, but you can always try.
15. Box Squats. Box Squats teaches you to explode from the bottom.
16. Plyometrics. Depth Jumps are perfect to develop leg power.
17. Olympic Lifts. Power Cleans teach you to explode under the bar.
Train Sticky Point
18. Train the Bottom End. Full Squats, Bottom Position Squats, Pause Squats, Low Box Squats, …
19. Train the Middle Part. Pin Squats, High Box Squats, …
20. Train the Lockout. Quarter Squats, Anderson Squats, Goodmornings, Reverse Band Squats, …
Improve Technique21. How to Squat with Proper Technique & Fix Common Problems. That article will get you started.
22. Squeeze your abs. A tight core is key to lifting big weights. It’s also safer for your lower back. Take a big breath, force it into your belly & squeeze your abs.
23. Push From the Heels. Pushing from the heels involves your hip muscles more. Keep your toes up if this gives you problems.
24. Look Forward. Look down & you’ll bend your back. Look up & you’ll injure your neck. Just look forward.
25. Head Moves First. If your Squat looks more like a Goodmorning, your hips move up too fast. Keep your chest up & move your head first.
26. Squat Wider. This also involves more hip muscles leading to more weight. Go for a shoulder-width stance at least.
27. Tighten your Upper-back. The bar needs a strong base to sit on. Squeeze your shoulder-blades together. Try shoulder dislocations if you lack flexibility.
28. Involve Your Hips. Lockout by bringing your hips forward, not by doing a Goodmorning. Bring your hips forward & squeeze your glutes.
29. Glute Activation. If you can’t involve your glutes well, try glute activation.
30. Squat more. The more you Squat, the better you become. Start squatting multiple times a week, alternating between heavy, medium, light days.
31. Read books on Squat technique. You never can read enough about how to Squat properly and technique is key.
Improve Mobility & Flexibility.
32. Improve Hip Mobility. Tight hips prevent proper Squat technique. Do the 7 dynamic stretches to improve your hip mobility.
33. Improve Shoulder Flexibility. If you can’t get the bar into proper position, perform shoulder dislocations several times a week.
34. Improve your Arch. Do back extensions/flexions several times a week & practice arching as much as possible, starting with your warm-ups.
35. Spinal Decompressions. Heavy Squats compress your spine. Spinal decompressions restore your spine’s original length, keeping it healthy.
Improve Your Posture
36. Lordosis. Stand aside from a mirror: if you butt sticks out you might have lordosis. Lordosis increases risks of injury.
37. Hanging Shoulders. It gets much harder to tighten your upper-back if your shoulders hang forward. Try shoulder dislocations.
Training Programs38. Smolov. 100lbs weight increase in 13 weeks. You’ll have to work hard to get there, but the reward is great. Here’s a FAQ on Smolov.
39. Westside Barbell. Use accommodating resistance to increase your speed. Alternate between heavy & light days.
40. Texas Method. Three Squat sessions a week alternating between light, medium & heavy days.
41. Timed Total Tonnage. Keith Wassung’s approach is similar to the Texas method: heavy, medium, light days.
42. Super Squats. Squat & Milk routine. Here’s an excerpt from the book.
43. Don’t Squat in running shoes. They reduce power transmission & impair foot stability. Buy a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star they’re cheap & efficient.
44. Don’t use mirrors. They only gives you info on 1 plane. Learn to feel the movement, listen to your body.
45. Never Let Your Knees Buckle In. Push your knees out, this will avoid you knee injuries.
Other Ways to Increase Your Squat
46. Increase Your Muscle Mass. Bigger muscles equals more strength. Eat more if you want to Squat the heaviest weights.
47. Recovery. Make sure you recover well between workouts. Eat your calories, sleep, etc.
48. Use Belts. Belts increase pressure in your abdomen adding support to your abs & lower back. This leads to more weight.
49. Train Hard. If you want to get somewhere, you’ll have to train hard.
50. Squat. If you train hard & Squat persistently, the only thing that will prevent you to increase your Squat is an injury. In the end, you just need to Squat.