T Nation

Are Zercher Squats Bad for the Back?


It was discussed before on T-Nation whether the zercher squat puts excessive stress on the biceps tendon.

Recently one of Poliquin's students told me that the zercher squat is dangerous to the lumbar spine due to the different leverages (different to front or back squats). I'd like to hear your opinion on this.

Personally, I am a big fan of Zerchers, but I don't want to regret doing them five years from now.

Thank you.


They'll give you the AIDS. 'Nuff said.


Why not use a fat bar?


I'd like to hear his rationale as to how different leverages make it bad for your lumbar spine.


Jim Wendler would probably say that they're bad for your testicles.


No, really, it doesn't matter whether you do back, front or Zercher squats as long as you keep a tight arch and high intra-abdominal pressure.

Basically, the difference in pressure caused by leverage will be offset by a lower weight that can be used during the certain exercise.

But, there's a huge amplification of pressure on disks and tension on muscles the more you bend, even with a straight back.


If you're really concerned why not buy a Zercher squat/front squat harness? Louie Simmons and his guys use them at Westside, I bought one and they're great. Available on Ebay...