Squats are one of the most effective exercises for recruiting many muscle fibers, improving mobility, and building strength throughout the body - provided they are done correctly. With these three tips, you get the best out of the squats:
1. In squat elbows under the barbell
The perfect squat
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The more you can maintain an upright posture during squat, the shorter the horizontal distance between the barbell and the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5). This results in lower forces on the lumbar spine. The more you lean forward, the more strain you put on the lower back and the intervertebral discs. One factor that determines whether the upper body remains upright is the position of the elbows during squat. These should be located just below the bar all the time to raise the chest and prevent the body from diving forwards.
2. Go down deep in squats
Like any other joint, the knee joint should be trained over its entire range of motion to increase its muscular balance and stability. The Vastus medialis, the tear-shaped portion of the quadriceps on the lower inner thighs, is one of the two main muscles for stabilizing the knee joint. Training in the range of motion below 90 ° of knee flexion is necessary to recruit and strengthen the medial muscle fibers of the medial vein. And the stronger the Vastus medialis, the more stable the knee joint.
Half knee bends, on the other hand, destabilize the knee joint, as the recruitment of more fibers of the lateral vastus produces a muscular imbalance, which weakens the medial vein in comparison. In addition, in full squat, all muscles of the hip joint, gluteus, quadriceps, and erector spinae are stretched and the mobility of the ankle is improved. This optimizes the mobility and thus prevents injuries.
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3. Do it slowly
In addition to the training weight, the duration of the exercise (TUT = time under tension), which results from the sum of the duration of the individual repetitions of a set, is important for muscle growth and the training effect.
10 repetitions of the squat, which are performed in total in 30 seconds (2010 speed = 2 seconds eccentric, no (0) break at the turnaround, 1 second concentric, no (0) break in the start position), have a training effect other than 10 reps Squats with the same weight, lasting 50 seconds (4010 tempo).
The eccentric part of the movement is primarily crucial for muscle growth and strength gain. The concentric proportion contributes only very little. A slower eccentric squat will also help you avoid injuries, improve technique and increase control.
Using these techniques every time you do squats will improve your squat technique and prepare yourself for heavier squats.
Author: Wolfgang Unsöld
Our tip from the editor:
The perfect squat - technique, methods and variants
The perfect squat
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The squat, also called squat, is one of the most popular and effective full-body exercises in strength training. Because no other exercise is more efficient in training muscular balance, flexibility, and strength, she is often referred to as "The King of All Exercises."
Strength coach and trainer Wolfgang Unsöld, whose know-how swears by professional athletes and athletes from all over the world, is relying on this all-in-one exercise that requires more than 400 muscles in his training programs. But very few perform squats properly. It is even the case that most of the trainers train incorrectly. This book covers the most common myths and errors, explains in words and pictures the different techniques and goes into detail on the increase in performance. From front squats and squats with flat or raised heels to Klokov and Medvedev squats to Jump Squats and Romanian deadlift, all the major squat variants are presented. The reader learns how and when they need to be used for optimal results.
The book includes over 10 different training programs such. For example, the YPSI Squat Holidays, an intensive program that consists of 18 training sessions in 6 days, resulting in an average increase of approximately 15 kilos of additional weight in the squat - including the loss of approximately 1.5 percent body fat and gain of about 3 pounds of lean muscle!
You can order the book here in our shop or via Amazon .