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Squat Utilizing the Bounce vs Pause in the Hole

Ok so this may seem like a silly question but I realize when I squat I actually do at least a 1/2- 1 sec pause to make sure I hit my max depth and tightness then explode kind of like a pause bench. What are you guys actually doing when it comes to the squat ascend portion any cues? I’ve seen some guys dive bombing huge weights but I’m hesitant to do that.

I don’t really dive bomb. But mine is deep enough I get a little bounce when my hams meet my calves. But I squat fairly narrow. And it’s between high and low bar. Just depends on your style. But you are most definitely losing pounds by pausing.

Ah I see now I’m wondering just how much I’m leaving in the table. my squat isnt the strongest so far the most I’ve squatted is 295x5 with the way I mentioned. I did try it once but I felt like I lost positioning, and tightness so I guess this is something I’m going to have to practice a lot.

You can drop as fast as you like providing you can stay tight. The better you get at bracing and locking your position in, the more aggressively you can drive down. It does take practice though, and not just practice staying tight but practice staying tight while driving down.

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Got it so this video not sure how I missed it since I’m subscribe to them . They mention staying tight and controlled and accelerating the last bit into the hole . I will give it a go

There is a video about squat descent on the JTS Strength youtube channel, I suggest you watch that.

You definitely don’t want to be pausing at the bottom unless you are doing pause squats, once you reach the bottom position explode up. Descending faster will give you more of a pop out of the bottom but if you can’t stay tight and hit depth then it’s no use. For a while I was trying to descend as fast as possible but I started having issues with depth once I had 500+ on the bar, I tried slowing down the descent and it totally fixed my problem.

So descend as fast as you can while maintaining proper technique, and descent speed should be the same on everything from warmups to max attempts. But don’t hang out at the bottom.


Thx actually i just came across the vid a few minutes ago I know for sure I cant go too fast but I will defnetly try to accelerate just the last bit and not hang down there. I know this kid this skinny kid at my commercial gym that does 315 for singles and just goes from 0 to 100dive bomb but looks like a banana at the bottom not sure how he does it lol.

That kid is probably going to break his back if he keeps it up.

It’s OK to descend slow if going faster doesn’t work, the main thing is to reverse the movement as soon as you hit the bottom, not sit down and relax.


Descending Squat Bar Speed

As you noted, Chad recommends descending slowly in the first part of the Squat. As you near the hole position, allowing the descent speed to increase to elicit the Stretch Reflex.

Dr Tom McLaughlin
PhD Exercise Biomechanics/Former Powerlifter

McLaughlin’s research determined that same, decades ago…

“You want to lower the weight slowly, even during the first six inches of the descent,” says McLaughlin. “Too many lifters start the squat very quickly and think they’ll slow down halfway, but the momentum of the bar increases very quickly, and they end up effectively lifting more than the actual weight. The top lifters have velocity and acceleration patterns that are uniquely geared this way compared to beginners and intermediates.”

Speed Kills

Additional research by McLaughlin determined lowering the bar too fast increased the “actual weight” by 149%.

300 lb Example

That means if you lower the weight too quickly, the actual weight will be 447 lbs when you hit the Squat hole position. (300 lbs X 149%)

Squat Bar Speed Descent

McLaughlin found that lowering the bar slowly only increased the actual weight 112%.

300 lb Example

That means slowing the descent down in the Squat only increased the actual weight to 336 lbs (300 lbs X 112%)

When To Increase The Bar Speeds Descent

As you near the Squat hole position, you need to allow the bar speed to increase. Doing so, elicits the Stretch Reflex (sling shot effect) in coming out of the hole.

Research shows that up to 18% more force is produced when the Stretch Reflex is elicited.

Kenny Croxdale


Good Information

Kenny Croxdale

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Switching from a slow/pause to fast/bounce technique I recommend you stay very aware of your lumbar spine positioning. Basically, do not let it round or really change position at all anywhere in the squat. This is obviously important regardless of the technique, but I could see it being an issue in making this particular switch. Record your sets from the side and be super critical of it. The guys the frequent this site probably think I sound like a broken record but it’s for good reason… rupturing a lumbar disc sucks really bad.


I actually tried it today and asked my friend if I was rounding at all and told me nope it was good I will record later and post here when I get my new phone. So from my experience it was much easier to get out of my sticking point now I wont say it felt any easier but I can see how with more practice this will help me in long run. I controlled my decend and accelerated the last inch and maintained tightness. While I accelerate I actually started thinking about driving up and i got that bounce/stretch effect ,Instead of just staying at the same tempo till come to a stop then drive like I’ve been doing wich made me hesitate sometimes.:+1:

Squat is arguably my worst lift, but in my experience, I go down at a moderate pace, as fast as i can “pull with my hamstrings” without losing the control, then right at the bottom, and inch or so from my max depth I give a little push for my stretch reflex. It’s also much more comfortable to me. Dive bombing feels all kinds of bad for me, and a slow steady squat from top to bottom to top is more exhausting than a deadlift to me.

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Check Ray Williams’ 490kg Squat. As per the descent tempo discussed above. Williams may be a bit more extreme then a lot of lifters like slower in the top half of the descent but no one argues with the speed at which he comes out the bottom

There is nothing wrong with how you squat but, there is no question that is you learned to utilize stretch reflex it would add some pounds to your squat. You don’t have to dive bomb just use a controlled decent and explode up as soon as you hit the hole.