T Nation

Zercher Squats

Who does them?

How much weight do you use? Ass to the grass, of course.

I do it. About twice a month. When I want to try something different. To keep from getting bored

I can’t really do them ass to grass. I need a wide stance to get my arms in between my legs. I go down until the bar touches my thighs. I used a 2 X 4 the other day to help disperse the load, which seemed to help, until the bar rolled off the board (ouch). A better alternative, in my opinion, is to roll up some towels around the bar where the crook of your arms meet the barbell. I worked my way up to 315 the other day. Here’s me with 225.

I forgot. I start out light around 95 lbs 5x5 and start from there and try to go full range of motion.

I’m just waiting for the guy to come and tell us he zerchers 495…at 174 bodyweight.

Now, what’s the point of this thread?

Did 3x8 of 125lbs today

[quote]Brett Tucek wrote:
I’m just waiting for the guy to come and tell us he zerchers 495…at 174 bodyweight.

Now, what’s the point of this thread?[/quote]

I did 505 at a body weight of 160 I cheated though I used creatine and to think I always thought I would stay natural

I also soy loaded its a tip of the pro’s

[quote]n3wb wrote:
Brett Tucek wrote:
I’m just waiting for the guy to come and tell us he zerchers 495…at 174 bodyweight.

Now, what’s the point of this thread?

I did 505 at a body weight of 160 I cheated though I used creatine and to think I always thought I would stay natural

I also soy loaded its a tip of the pro’s
[/quote]
lol

Does anyone think these are useful? I heard why do them like that when you can just do rg. front squats or back squats. But any real merit from doin them or anything? I’m sure it’s a good thing to have a change of pace n stuff…but anythin else?

i feel it a lot in my lower back and my abs more when i do zerchers.
most i ever did was 275 for an easy 3

[quote]dl- wrote:
Does anyone think these are useful? I heard why do them like that when you can just do rg. front squats or back squats. But any real merit from doin them or anything? I’m sure it’s a good thing to have a change of pace n stuff…but anythin else?[/quote]

I train for strongman, so I feel they have some carryover to stones.

I also think they work the upper back slightly, and are overall just a different feel than front or back squats. FYI, I can actually zercher more than I can front squat.

[quote]Brett Tucek wrote:
dl- wrote:
Does anyone think these are useful? I heard why do them like that when you can just do rg. front squats or back squats. But any real merit from doin them or anything? I’m sure it’s a good thing to have a change of pace n stuff…but anythin else?

I train for strongman, so I feel they have some carryover to stones.

I also think they work the upper back slightly, and are overall just a different feel than front or back squats. FYI, I can actually zercher more than I can front squat.[/quote]

I also zercher more than I front squat, but I rarely front squat. I also don’t understand why you wrote what you posted earlier. I think it’s pretty easy to get you zercher close to your back squat max if you do them regularly.

Zerchers are the one of the few exercises that really make my abs sore. And, like you said, have a decent carryover to stones as well as conan’s carries and other strongman events.


I guess I forgot to post the picture. I’ll try again.

What’s the point of doing them? Great anterior stabilization exercise for the abs! Good carry over to strongman and mma. Can increase squat and deadlift strength too if insufficient core strength is the weakest link in the chain.

I just started doing them myself. I have given up regular back squats because my lower back is not what it used to be. I can’t front squat worth a damn. I just can’t keep the bar comfortably it front of me. The only solution was to Zercher. I use a memory foam pillow to keep it comfortable. So far I like how it feels doing this movement. I have only used around 200lbs so far as I wanted to get used to it before going all out. I was thinking about jumping up a lot since the exercise feels pretty comfortable. You do get a lot of core stimulation.

What’s the benefit of Zerchers compared to regular back squats?

I do “unintended Zerchers” when I do one more front squat rep than I should, and I catch the bar in my elbows. This amazes my lifting partner, but I’m wondering if I should just use Zercher style instead of front squatting.

EDIT: I see Bretc’s comment above mine, so my question’s been answered (unless someone has other thoughts).

[quote]TShaw wrote:

I do “unintended Zerchers” when I do one more front squat rep than I should, and I catch the bar in my elbows. This amazes my lifting partner, but I’m wondering if I should just use Zercher style instead of front squatting.

EDIT: I see Bretc’s comment above mine, so my question’s been answered (unless someone has other thoughts).[/quote]

Haha, I did that last week on a 1RM

i do them every monday at the end of back and front squat sets. 3x8 starting at 135 ending at 185. they really get your abs firing and you can feel it in your arms/shoulders as you try and keep the weight away from your body.

I think they are a great lift to teach a lifter to get his ‘hips under him’ and push through with the hips, which comes in handy for a number of lifts and sports. They trash my quads like no other, as they are my limiting factor on this exercise (I can do 255 x 5)

[quote]TShaw wrote:
What’s the benefit of Zerchers compared to regular back squats?

I do “unintended Zerchers” when I do one more front squat rep than I should, and I catch the bar in my elbows. This amazes my lifting partner, but I’m wondering if I should just use Zercher style instead of front squatting.

[/quote]

I reckon Zercher’s add that “same but different” factor to front squats. The change in bar position changes how your support muscles work, similar to how you might change from wide grip bench to close grip to change things up a bit.

I’ve just started doing zerchers in the last few weeks, I really notice how hard they work the abs.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
TShaw wrote:

I do “unintended Zerchers” when I do one more front squat rep than I should, and I catch the bar in my elbows. This amazes my lifting partner, but I’m wondering if I should just use Zercher style instead of front squatting.

EDIT: I see Bretc’s comment above mine, so my question’s been answered (unless someone has other thoughts).

Haha, I did that last week on a 1RM

[/quote]

If either of you is front squatting any significant lbs and then dropping off your clavicle area into the crook of the arms, then I’d be real concerned about injury like busting a bicep.
what a shock that must be to the biceps to have 100+ lbs suddenly dropped onto it?