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Becoming A Juggernaut In The Gym – The Squat

Increase Your Gains By Gaining Strength On The Weaker Part Of The Lift!

Posted by DanWynesFitness - June 18th, 2015

Everyone wants to improve a lift but how do you actually go about strengthening a specific area of the lift? Let’s take a Squat for example if you look at the eccentric phase of a lift, more specifically just before you explode up most people will start off slow and as they get higher up the squat gets easier and they can move faster. Now why is this?

Because the quadriceps and hamstrings are largely taken out of the movement at this point and it is your core and glutes which power the movement to begin with. So how do we compensate and strengthen this area and what are the main benefits in doing so?

Well if you think about it a lot of people may say, just don’t squat as low. Now although in some cases it may be beneficial to do shorter reps if you are looking to maximise the results of the squat for your lower body development then you will need to go full range of motion (below parallel).

There are a many ways to improve strength in the lower part of the Squat two of my favourite that I have been utilising are Time Under Tension reps where I take 4 seconds on the eccentric part of the lift pause for a second and then explode up. This eliminates the elastic effect of your quads and hamstrings therefore breaking down the movement so you have to recruit more muscle fibres to complete the movement. You will need to reduce the weight as each rep will take 5-6 seconds to complete.

The second movement I have been doing I like to call a Resting Squat. You need to set your rack up so the safety pins are like this.

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 A resting Squat is when you set the safety rack to where you want to start your reps from, typically for me it’s just below parallel. Now unlike the conventional squat where you start from the top of the rack you are now going to start from the bottom. After each rep you are going to pause for a second and allow the bar to rest on the rack and then push from the bottom of the squat using the same form as you normally would.

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If you have never tried these techniques then give them a go and I guarantee you will feel the difference the next few days. As always I recommend rotating these exercises and using them to your advantage. Do them for 4-6 weeks and then retest your full squat and see how much stronger you are.

Stay tuned, part II (the Deadlift) and part III (the Press) are coming.

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I meant groin muscles 

Herculesinwyo  Edit  Delete  Close

I need to rotate my photos too Haha. 

Happy lifting everyone 

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@herculesinwyo haha that's OK! I was just making sure you knew for future posts.


I was just about to post a question in the forums as I am having some strength issues in the bottom part of the squat. Mainly ground muscles and lower abs I feel weak with. Or maybe it's lack of flexibility 

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@herculesinwyo doing some resting (pause or box) squats could be helpful for you then. Training like that will improve your power out of the bottom of the movement! If your abductor/adductors are weak you can use machines, if your gym has them. Your abs will get stronger through your compound movements, but maybe you need to do more lower ab specific work if that is a weak point for you.


Nice! I'm gonna switch my pause squats out for resting squats.

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Yeah that's OK, as long as you keep it tight on the way up so you don't fold like an accordian!

NerdNr5  Edit  Delete  Close

Feels great. Don't like holding my breath when pausing. While resting the bar, I can get the air I need to hold my core tight.


TUT 💪🏻😝🙏🏻  is what separates the men from the boys 

DanWynesFitness  Edit  Delete  Close

@time_is_muscle you are right the doms the next day is Insane!


TUT is great for the squat because it forces you to stay tight and strong! Great words Dan!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Most people fear TUT, because they don't squat right to begin with.  Too much weight!  This is an eye opener for sure!  Love it!


Those resting squats sound pretty bad ass to work on that explosive power. Similarly, I like to sit down at the very bottom of my squat for a few seconds sometimes just to get that extra BURN!

Great read man! 1 down, 2 to come @danwynesfitness ;)

crood  Edit  Delete  Close

same, i use a box to sit on, everytime i want to up the weight on my squats. it's safer and you can build the strenght to get the weight back up. Instead of descending first and then possibly struggling and hurting yourself, or having to drop the bar.

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

yeah I like doing that on my burnsets.  Just squat down and let the pain sink in! #HTH


awesome article @danwynesfitness


Never tried the resting squat, gonna give it a go on my next leg day. 

DanWynesFitness  Edit  Delete  Close

The resting squat= Leg doms before the end of your workout! 


The resting squat is a great way to get stronger to push through sticking points.  Especially or those who have a hard time with the pause squat, great stuff @danwynesfitness!

Idris  Edit  Delete  Close

Okay, are you talking about rest/pause for greater strength and buiding muscle. That works too if completed correctly!


The squat with or without weight is, without a doubt a total body workout! You are utilizing every body part and psychologically, mentally you have to focus on proper techique/form!