Lo squatting is one of the most popular exercises in the fitness world and is called the king of all exercises, famous for its ability to develop strength and power, as well as having many other benefits.
What about the Zercher squats? Let's find out together everything there is to know about this little known squat variant.
What is the Zercher squat?
It is not a disease or an instrument of torture, but one of the most underrated exercises that can bring power and muscle development of an athlete at a higher level.
This squat teaches the correct movement of the squat, teaches to spread the knees, push the chest up and push the glutes out.
The Zercher squat takes its name from its inventor, Ed Zercher, a strongman and lifter of the 30s. It seems that the Zercher home gym looked more like a minefield than a training area and was filled with objects such as anvils, wrecking balls and various machinery.
How to perform the Zercher Squat correctly
To start the movement you have two possibilities:
- The first it consists in placing a loaded barbell on the ground and lifting it up to just above the knee; you have to focus on quadriceps legs rather than on the kneecaps, then you can slowly squat, balancing the bar on the lower thighs as you slide your arms under the bar until you reach your elbows.
- The second option is to place the bar in a waist-high squat rack, then squat down and place the bar in the crook of your inner elbows; make sure your elbows are shoulder-width apart and your knuckles pointing to the ceiling, keep the bar close to your body, place your feet a few inches shoulder-width apart and with your toes slightly rotated. In this position, lift yourself up by squeezing your glutes and pressing into your heels, pushing your knees outward as you push up.
Il Zercher squat is a great exercise for squat mechanics, especially for beginners; strengthens the action of the hip, forces the athlete to maintain an upright position throughout the movement and allows for a deeper squat.
Taking the barbell off your back, the Zercher squat completely eliminates the compressive forces acting on the spine. It's a great exercise to replace the back squat in off-week weeks, to give your spine time to recover.
Also, the movement mechanic forces the core to work a lot; since the weight is loaded forward, one is forced to maintain an upright posture, which places more emphasis on the front stabilizers, such as the abs.
This squat performs a much more intense activity on the posterior chain than the more traditional ones front and rear squats and, therefore, is an excellent developer of glutes and hamstrings.
And you, did you know the Zercher squat? Let us know in the comments and remember to follow us on our telegram channel
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