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Dead Squats (Concentric Squats)


Im gonna be going on a strength cycle soon, and am gonna focus on front squats.

I would like ot focus on strength out of the hole, as that is my weakest point.

I did a little research, and feel I have a few options.

  1. Box squats
  2. full front squats
  3. concentric squats
  4. band squats
    Im leaning toward 3 but never have tried it really.

Basically i would use a squat rack, and set the pins at a position past parallel, and start each rep from the bottom.

What do you guys think

I would also really like to do band squats, but dont have any bands.


If you can push your dead start squats up signifciantly then I can't see why it wouldn't carry over to some extent...? (provided they're done exactly as you would squat)

It's not something I've ever tried, but I have considered it and from a theoretical standpoint it seems like it would work?


I like concentric squats, and they are nice as something to do for a change of pace, but, IMHO, I'm not convinced they are the best thing for developing strength out of the hole. I think they are a great exercise for teaching you how to generate tension without the stretch reflex (as in a deadlift or in sport), but for developing explosion out of the hole, I'd look into pause squats or squats w. chains before I'd be doing concentric squats. JMO.

btw, the next Squat Rx will be about concentric and zercher squat variations.


That's a good idea, especially if you want to eliminate the SSC from the equation. It teaches you starting strength after all.


i have tried it. the only real problem i notice is that since they are set slightly below parallel, if i leave it there and just start my next set by getting under, my form is not nearly like my actually squat, more forward than back.

worth a try tho, i still saw some growth in my squat simply because of the power needed to get bar moving w/o tension...


Anderson(concentric) squats are the best for building strength out of the hole and forcing good form. If you don't set it up right and are too far forward you will either fail or do a gm. I you have the ability to set the bar in chains then do that rather than the pins because it allows you to setup into a better position.

The other great thing about them is that you don't have to neccessarily be setup below parallel. In my experience I have found that I got a good carryover from them even when the bar was set at parallel.

Have fun and good luck with them!



Front Squats have helped me get out of the hole more than anything else. In fact they've helped me squat properly more than anything else.


I've was doing concentric back squats from the pins a while back and noticed something. When I went back to regular squats it felt weird to shift from eccentric to concentric. It almost messed me up with less than my concentric squat max. Just something to watch out for.


Just some thoughts. No disrespect intended to Ericka, but unless you are already a pretty proficient squatter and/or someone who is training for equipped powerlifting or athletics, I don't think concentric squats are going to be the best use of your training time.

The concentric squat has its uses, but for raw squatters, I'd generally go with pause squats over concentric squats.


Erika what kind of carry over you had? or how much did you improved from the concentric squats to your squat?

I am asking since some times I am unable to recover from a clean, with over 95% clean.

Boris B with what % of one max would you recommend doing pause squats?



I would recommend 50-70%, but it depends on the individual. IMO, you don't want to be doing pause squats, pausing at rock bottom and I'm not really sure I'd recommend doing them with front squats.


In two years I put 205lbs on my squat and squatted 505 2 weeks before i herniated a disc. My progress wasn't solely a result of the andersons but I always noticed a significant difference in my performance on heavy squat days when i had added in the anderson's as an accessory move and i could usually expect to hit a 10-20lb pr on my next heavy squat day.

I should also mention that I utilized them primarily as an accessory with a weight at about 30-40% of my regular squat max. On occasion I did perform anderson's as the main move for a 1rm but I train westside and utilizing variations of the squat on mes day is what it's all about. Anderson's were the most difficult excercise for me and that is the very reason i used them and found success.


I know Dan John has stated that concentric squats were one of the most beneficial exercises that he did to improve his front squats.

Just a thought.


Do the concentric squats, but use the chains and not the pins. For some reason the rolling of the bar in the pins moves the angle out of the hole.

Suspending the bar from the chains eliminates this problem. I would also add some pull-throughs or some reverse-hypers for the glutes and hamstrings.


Sorry Dankid for stilling your threat

Thanks a lot guys for your comments and recommendations.
I guess that I will implement these squat techniques after the nationals as auxiliaries of my squat (front and back).

Since as its said, before a competition don't do nothing new.


Squat Rx #18: Concentric and Zercher Squats


Uh, yeah Boris she's a great squatter--competitive PLer who trains at Diablo Barbell. She has a very valued opinion around here.

I really love concentric only squats. The caveats all apply, but boy do I notice a difference after a cycle of them. It's especially good for those who are naturally explosive/reflexive in nature. If you are great at utilizing the SSC for your reps, then getting better at raw strength and power generation w/o it is a great idea.


I am aware of that actually. Like I said, no disrespect was intended, nor was I saying at all that she was wrong, just that I had a different perspective - relax, will ya?


I am going to be doing some Anderson Zercher Squats as a ME move to help with my front squat, my problem isn't out of the hole but I start to tilt forward.

I'll let you know how it goes.