T Nation

Improving Squat?

Hi!

I have for a couple of years been lifting weights to increase my performance in swimming.
The lift that i am focusing my attention right now are on squats.

My short term goal is to get my squat up to 2 times my body weight, I weigh 180 right now and can squat 270 pounds, going down all the way to 90 degrees. i want to get it up to 360, I can squat 315 to apro 65 degrrees but i get stuck in the bottom, that seems to be my problem.

I have done alot of step ups, lunges in different direction and deadlift, deadlift 295. The question I would like to get help with is what i can do to get stronger in the bottom on the squat? If somebody could give me some good advice i would really be grateful.

(I swim 100 yard free in 46 sek) I think i can improve dramatically if i get alot stronger.

Thank you/Rho

[quote]rhodry wrote:
Hi!

I have for a couple of years been lifting weights to increase my performance in swimming.
The lift that i am focusing my attention right now are on squats.

My short term goal is to get my squat up to 2 times my body weight, I weigh 180 right now and can squat 270 pounds, going down all the way to 90 degrees. i want to get it up to 360, I can squat 315 to apro 65 degrrees but i get stuck in the bottom, that seems to be my problem.

I have done alot of step ups, lunges in different direction and deadlift, deadlift 295. The question I would like to get help with is what i can do to get stronger in the bottom on the squat? If somebody could give me some good advice i would really be grateful.

(I swim 100 yard free in 46 sek) I think i can improve dramatically if i get alot stronger.

Thank you/Rho[/quote]

A couple of good options might be:

  1. Isometric bottom position squats- set the pins in a power rack to a height where a bar placed under them will be at approximately the hight of the parallel position of your squat. Next take an unloaded barbell and put it under the pins. Next get under the bar (in a squat position) and try to squat the bar. Now, you won’t be able to do it, but the point is that you actually try to push the bar through the pins.

One point of caution. Don’t slam the bar up into the pins. Place it so that it is on the bottom of the pins, then press.

Do 3-5 10 second exertions.

  1. Bottoms up back squats- Once again set the pins in a power rack as in the previous exercise. However, this time the bar will rest on top of the pins. Load the bar up with weight, get under it, and squat it. Increase weight until you can do this with your desired weight (or more).

You could also progressively lower the pins so that you are starting from a position below parallel. This should make squatting the weight to only parallel easier.

I know that Dan John has said that bottoms up front squats really helped him improve his clean #'s.

Good training,

Sentoguy

I think the number one option is to bust fucking arse on squats.

You’re not gonna find any exercises that’ll magically make your squat better, and looking for them is probably a waste of time.

If you want a better squat, then grow some balls and learn to love the pain.

[quote]rhodry wrote:
The question I would like to get help with is what i can do to get stronger in the bottom on the squat? [/quote]

I asked this same question of kirk kowarski several years ago. Here’s how the exchange went.

ME: So kirk, what do you think I can do to get my max up?
KIRK: Squat.
ME: what assistance exercises should I do?
KIRK: Squat.
ME: That’s it, what abou…
KIRK: (growling) Squat, squat and more squat!

Seriously rhodry, there’s no secret recipe here. Squat more, squat deep (that means below 90 degrees) and throw in some pauses at the bottom of the lift.

Its all in practice. I squat 3x per week using bill starr’s 5x5 program.

You want to squat more, squat more frequently per week varying the intensity.

Thanks guys for the replies, i’ll come back when i have accomplish the goal, I realize that squating is the only thing to do!

I dont agree with the prevous replies.
I think if he keeps squating with his piss poor form. he is never gonna really get better. FYI 90degrees is still a high squat to me.

I think you should Lighten the weight to the point your back bends no more than 45degrees forward. and that you go all the way down and leave a stain on the ground. Practice going down with a five second negative keeping your back straight aim to get as deep as possible preferably a FULLSQUAT.
do this for six workouts,

then build up your deadlift for six workouts, go back to squat and i’ll bet you’ll be up considerably.

If you cant do a full squat stretch your hip flexors and adductors.

[quote]robo1 wrote:

I asked this same question of kirk kowarski several years ago. Here’s how the exchange went.

ME: So kirk, what do you think I can do to get my max up?
KIRK: Squat.
ME: what assistance exercises should I do?
KIRK: Squat.
ME: That’s it, what abou…
KIRK: (growling) Squat, squat and more squat!

[/quote]

That’s an oldie but a goodie.

I believe it is an excerpt from PLUSA around the time he was on the cover with a shovel in his hands burying 1000#'s. (2/1993)

BTW, his last name is spelled Karwoski.

The answer is pretty simple, get stronger.