T Nation

Out of the Hole Power on Squat


So if you've been following me at all you will know I've really been focusing on hitting depth and stepping back from adding weight to my squats. I have incorporated a couple things:

1) I re-joined a gym for mirrors to see how deep I am going
2) When I lift from home, I place a box on the ground and touch it for depth.

Both are helping me get muscle memory of the necessary depth.

However, what it has brought about is a gap in my strength, naturally, or so I think.

For example, today, I worked up to 405x3 with no real issues. Then, I was going to do 425x3, first rep, hit the hole went up about maybe 8 inches, then went down like 4 inches, I was like "wtf", then went back up with no issues. So, I stopped because I didnt' know what to think of that.

It wasn't heavy, or hard, but something went wrong. I don't know if I'm weak out of the hole now, or if my intensity just wasn't there and I got "lazy" on the drive.

I also noticed the lower I go I get a little butt wink.

So, I am planning on doing more speed squats, and getting some paused squats.

Anything else I should do to fix this or any ideas? It was a little creepy, I thought I was going to dump 425 for a second.

one other thing to note is back in March I attempted 455, got 1/2 way up, then just dropped like a rock, no real warning. It felt like this, but in March, 455 was heavy, it is 50-100 lbs under my max now.


Pause squats, pause squats, and more pause squats.

Also, do box squats at the spot where you start to struggle.


x2 on the pause squats, just make sure you maintain tightness in the hole. I found that my power increased when I took a slightly narrower stance. (heels inline with shoulders, toes slightly pointed out).


You might be able to achieve a similar effect (more tightness out of the hole) by bringing the knees in slightly to initiate the drive out of the bottom. I started doing this subconsciously when I added weights to my pause squats. Dan Green has a few videos that talk about this as well.