T Nation

How Deep Do You Go For Zercher Squats?

I like this movement. I go until my arms hit the tops of my thighs. Should I adjust my “grip” so that I can go lower? If so, how low?

Thanks

My hamstrings bottom out on my calves before my arms bottom out on my thighs, but I would play around with it. Try a wider stance so your elbows drop between your thighs. See how that works for you.

RIT Jared

Play around with your arm and leg position, whether it be a more narrow stance or more wide. With zercher squats, you will be using a much lighter load than regular back squats so I see no reason why you shouldn’t be taking this “ass-to-grass”.

Go deeper,
Toddy

I go to about parallel, but I definitely use a heavy weight with this.

This is actually my “show off” exercise, because I (before my back got hurt 2 weeks ago) used to be able to do 4 plates on each side to parallel.

I’ve always just been really strong in exercises like these.

[quote]the MaxX wrote:
I go to about parallel, but I definitely use a heavy weight with this.

This is actually my “show off” exercise, because I (before my back got hurt 2 weeks ago) used to be able to do 4 plates on each side to parallel.

I’ve always just been really strong in exercises like these.[/quote]

How did you hurt your back?

[quote]the MaxX wrote:
4 plates on each side to parallel…

ZEB wrote:
How did you hurt your back?
[/quote]

I think he told us… :wink:

[quote]Croooz wrote:
the MaxX wrote:
4 plates on each side to parallel…

ZEB wrote:
How did you hurt your back?

I think he told us… ;)[/quote]

Yea…just wanted it confirmed.

Just wondering, I’ve never done Zercher squats (GMs yes, squats no). What advantages do they give over front squats, if any.

I’ve really started to love Front Squats.

DB

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
Just wondering, I’ve never done Zercher squats (GMs yes, squats no). What advantages do they give over front squats, if any.

I’ve really started to love Front Squats.

DB[/quote]

I think Zerchers train the upper body and especially the arms to an incredible degree.

Caution if you try them make sure that you use a light weight for two reasons: 1. The bar tends to dig into the crevice of your arms (could use towels, or just wear a sweat shirt). 2. Balance, if you have never done them before there is a tendency to lean to far forward.

Give them a try!

No, no. I didn’t hurt my back doing zerchers. Definitely not.

I was attempting high rep cleans (20) w/ 135 with catching them at the bottom and a jerk to the floor.

I had just gotten so tired that my form slowly degenerated until My back rounded heavily on the way up at number 19. I should have stopped after my mid back popped, but I decided to do the same thing with snatches.

Simple stupidity in the guise of manliness. I’m taking the month off before I go all out and try to get o-lifting back to where it was.

(Also, I know one isn’t supposed to technically do high repetitions of something as technical as full cleans/jerks, but I was experimenting. Live and learn, eh?)

I have some pictures somewhere that I’ll post of the exercise with good form and heavy weight.

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
Just wondering, I’ve never done Zercher squats (GMs yes, squats no). What advantages do they give over front squats, if any.

I’ve really started to love Front Squats.

DB[/quote]

Zerchers do work the upper body but they also allow you to sit back into a proper squat position without the weight being on your back. You can use a towel to help with the bar digging into your arms but a board helps even more. When you do get up to significant weight your shoulders start to round forward and form goes to shit so watch out for that.

Thanks for the replies. I’m not sure my question was answered. What I was trying to get at is are Zerchers better than Front Squats, or just as a substitute exercise? It seems to me that Front Squats allow you to sit into a proper squat form without having the weight on your back also, with the same risks of rounding at the bottom that Zerchers would have. Given that Zerchers put a lot of stress on the crook of the elbow, it seems that the loads would be lower than FS = less work on quads? I might give them a shot just for shits and giggles - who knows, I might like them as a change of pace.

DB

Caution if you try them make sure that you use a light weight for two reasons: 1. The bar tends to dig into the crevice of your arms (could use towels, or just wear a sweat shirt).
[/quote]

I use a piece of foam pipe insulation (about $1-$2 at Home Depot-plumbing dept) on the bar when I do Zercher GMs to reduce the pain on the arms (I also use them for Back Squats to reduce the raspberry effect across my shoulders). They work pretty well and I hate those big foam wraps. The pipe insulators are split along the side which makes it easy to put them on and take them off and you can trim to length with a utility knife.

DB