T Nation

Pause Squats Good or Bad


#1

I have done pause squats several times in the past and have mixed feelings about them. I would like your input to justify or disprove my thinking.

Just to clarify what a pause squat is, take a normal wide stance powerlifting style squat and pause for a full second on the bottom before coming back up.

I like these because in my squat I am weakest on the botton 3-5 inches coming out of the hole. I hope that by keeping tension at the bottom and removing the stretch reflex from the bottom I will be able to make my squat stronger out of the hole.

I do not like it because when I pause at the bottom I am keeping a lot of stress on the hamstrings and then the sudden contraction would make me more open to pulls/strains/tears.

Also I have a tendency when becoming fatigued in later sets of heavier weight to drop several inches lower before I come back up, adding additional stretch to an already tight muscle.

Sorry for the long opening post, please tell me your thoughts on pause squatting.


#2

You can always try squatting from the bottom of the power rack to work on concentric strength.

Nothing wrong with pause squats, just remember to stay tight throughout the whole movement. Any type of relaxation and your likely to increase the stretch in your muscles.


#3

I don’t understand what you mean by having loads of tension on your hammies in the bottom… You should be tight all over. The muscle isn’t going from a relaxed state to a tense state like.

If you’re dropping a few inches extra then it’s not the fault of the exercise… It’s something you need to control more and work on.

For what it’s worth, paused squats are one of my favourite squat assistance exercises by a long way. And htey work really well too.


#4

I did ATG Pause SQuats yesterday and I really liked them


#5

Have any of you ever tried pin pause squats? Similar to pause squats but just resting the bar on the safety pins at the bottom position for a second before starting the concentric phase.

I’ve tried pin squats from the bottom position but the problem with this is that it’s very hard to get into your proper squat stance and groove. With the pin pause squats, I can get into my normal stance and lower the bar onto the pins while staying in my groove. It’s basically a squat with a complete deload at the bottom.


#6

As stated previously you should be tight in the core and the legs even in the hole (bottom) of a pause squat. Pause squats and pin pauses or con only Squats are one of the best things you can do, maybe the best thing, to stop your core from breaking right after you get out fo the hole.

your legs will always be able to squat a ton as you can see on the press. It’s always the core/trunk that is the weak link. If the switching of momentum breaks the core you go down.

So using pause squats is more an attempt to make sure that you learn to keep a rigid trunk/core in the hole and coming out of it. The idea is that the minute you back bends just a little it removes all the force out of the bar and you have to get the cocksucker started again.

Just like if you bend your back halfway up on a DL then the force is removed. your hips are also further away from the bar.

So the idea is to maintain the tension you can down with in the pause as much as possible and learn to keep rigid. your legs may seem to be less tense on lighter weights but that is only elastic tension fading.

It’s hard to explain in writing. Keep doing pause squats and you will have a larger squat.

-chris


#7

[quote]Traps59 wrote:
Have any of you ever tried pin pause squats? Similar to pause squats but just resting the bar on the safety pins at the bottom position for a second before starting the concentric phase.

I’ve tried pin squats from the bottom position but the problem with this is that it’s very hard to get into your proper squat stance and groove. With the pin pause squats, I can get into my normal stance and lower the bar onto the pins while staying in my groove. It’s basically a squat with a complete deload at the bottom.[/quote]

That’s a good idea. I never liked pure bottom up squats since they killed my knees.


#8

[quote]Hanley wrote:
I don’t understand what you mean by having loads of tension on your hammies in the bottom… You should be tight all over. The muscle isn’t going from a relaxed state to a tense state like.

If you’re dropping a few inches extra then it’s not the fault of the exercise… It’s something you need to control more and work on.

For what it’s worth, paused squats are one of my favourite squat assistance exercises by a long way. And htey work really well too.[/quote]

I understand that all muscles from abs to hamstrings are tense. My flaw in movement (the additional sinking at bottom) causes the already tense muscle to stretch further. This is were my fear of muscle pull. Undoubtedly I need to take a few reps off each set or lower intensity slightly when my form begins to break down.

Also, I like the idea of the pin squat. I will give it a try and see just how hard it is to find my grove when starting from the bottom.