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Default 08-21-2005, 08:23 AM

Squat Theory and Execution

Written by “Arioch”

The squat should be a standard exercise in any lifters program. Whether
the goal is strength, hypertrophy (increase in muscle size), increased
accelerative ability, or a heightened vertical jump, the squat is the
tool for the task. In addition to working the muscles of the legs,
hips, lower back, abdomen, and obliques, the demands of squatting
should stimulate a growth response from the body that will carry over
into strength and size increases in other areas.

The basic technique of the squat consists in placing a loaded
barbell across the shoulders, then bending at the hips and knees,
descending into the bottom position, “the hole,” and returning to an
erect position. We will examine the squat from the deck up.

Stance. This varies from individual to individual, but one thing is
necessary for all who wish progress: you must keep your feet flat on
the deck at all times. The center of gravity may be maintained over the
center of the foot, but it is generally best to push through the heels.
This will help in maintaining bar position and help eliminate a small
degree of forward lean. To achieve this, some people find it necessary
to curls the toes upward while squatting, forcing their heels flat. The
feet should be placed at least shoulder width apart, and some
individuals may best utilize a stance nearly twice shoulder width. The
narrower stance tends to place more direct emphasis on the quads, and
creates a longer path for the bar to travel. The wider stance (often
called “sumo”) tends to be favored by many powerlifters, although some
have enjoyed great success with a relatively narrow stance. The sumo
stance place more emphasis on the adductors and hamstrings. As a rule
of thumb, lifters with longer legs will need a wider stance than
shorter individuals. However, there are exceptions. A wider stance will
tend to recruit both the adductors and buttocks to a greater degree
than a narrow stance. (1)

The shins should be a close to vertical as possible throughout the
entire movement. This lessens the opening of the knee joint, and
reduces the shearing force as well. By reducing the workload that the
knee joint is required to handle, more of the work is accomplished by
the larger muscles around the hip joint. For powerlifters, this
decreases the distance one must travel with the bar, as the further the
knee moves forward, the lower the hips must descend to break parallel.

There are several schools of thought on squat depth. Many
misinformed individuals caution against squatting below parallel,
stating that this is hazardous to the knees. Nothing could be further
from the truth. (2) Stopping at or above parallel places direct stress
on the knees, whereas a deep squat will transfer the load to the
hips,(3) which are capable of handling a greater amount of force than
the knees should ever be exposed to. Studies have shown that the squat
produces lower peak tibeo-femoral(stress at the knee joint) compressive
force than both the leg press and the leg extension.(4) For functional
strength, one should descend as deeply as possible, and under control.
(yes, certain individuals can squat in a ballistic manner, but they are
the exception rather than the rule). The further a lifter descends, the
more the hamstrings are recruited, and proper squatting displays nearly
twice the hamstring involvement of the leg press or leg extension.
(5,6) and as one of the functions of the hamstring is to protect the
patella tendon (the primary tendon involved in knee extension) during
knee extension through a concurrent firing process, the greatest degree
of hamstring recruitment should provide the greatest degree of
protection to the knee joint. (7) When one is a powerlifter, the top
surface of the legs at the hip joint must descend to a point below the
top surface of the legs at the knee joint.

Knee injuries are one of the most commonly stated problems that
come from squatting, however, this is usually stated by those who do
not know how to squat. A properly performed squat will appropriately
load the knee joint, which improves congruity by increasing the
compressive forces at the knee joint. (8,(9) which improves stability,
protecting the knee against shear forces. As part of a long-term
exercise program, the squat, like other exercises, will lead to
increased collagen turnover and hypertrophy of ligaments. (10,11) At
least one study has shown that international caliber weightlifters and
powerlifters experience less clinical or symptomatic arthritis. (12)
Other critics of the squat have stated that it decreases the stability
of the knees, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Studies have
shown that the squat will increase knee stability by reducing joint
laxity, as well as decrease anterior-posterior laxity and translation.
(13,14) The squat is, in fact, being used as a rehabilitation exercise
for many types of knee injuries, including ACL repair. (15)

One of the most, if not the most critical factor in squatting is
spinal position. It is incredibly important not to round the back. This
can lead to problems with the lower back, and upper back as well. The
back should be arched, and the scapulae retracted, to avoid injury.
This position must be maintained throughout the entire lift, as
rounding on the way up is even more common than rounding on the way
down, and people who make this mistake are the ones who perpetuate the
“squats are bad for your back” myth. Furthermore, spinal position is
essential to maintaining a proper combined center of gravity (CCOG).
The farther one leans forward or, even worse, rounds the back, the more
strain the erectors are forced to bear, and the less the abdominals can
contribute to the lift. To say nothing of the fact that the greater the
lean, the greater the shearing force placed on the vertebrae. Proper
spinal alignment will assist in ensuring that the majority of the force
the spine must bear is compressive in nature, as it should be. Another
reason for descending below parallel is that the sacrum undergoes a
process known as nutation (it tilts forward, relative to the two ilia
on either side of it). At only 90 degrees of knee flexion, the sacrum
is still tilted backward, which inhibits proper firing of the erectors
and gluteus maximus and minimus. Going through a full range of motion
completes the rotation of the sacrum and allows maximal muscular

“Squats are bad for your back” is yet another cry of the weak of
both leg and spirit. While an improperly performed squat can cause
problems, so can improperly performed barbell curl, yet many of the
people who use the squat rack only to curl do not seem to have a
problem strengthening their elbow flexors. While the squat can be
hazardous to the back among the untrained who often incline the torso
to an unsafe degree, as well as round the back, skilled athletes have
been shown to minimize trunk segment torques by maintaining a more
erect posture. (16) It has been positively shown that maintaining an
upright torso during the squatting motion reduces both spinal
compression and shear forces. (17) Several studies have shown that
weightlifters experience not only less back injury and pain that many
other athletes, but often even less than inactive individuals, which
clearly displays that a proper weight training program, which includes
squatting, is beneficial in avoiding injury. (18,19)

The placement of the bar is another very important consideration
when squatting. If one places the bar high on the traps, more emphasis
will be placed on the quads, and a low bar squat recruits more of the
lower back and hamstrings, by virtue of back extension, simply because
the lower the bar is placed, the greater the degree of forward lean.
Even when high bar squatting, the bar should NEVER be placed on the
neck. This is far more stress than the cervical vertebrae should be
forced to bear. When a powerlifter squats with a low bar position, the
bar should be placed no lower than three centimeters below the top of
the anterior deltoids. For other lifters, comfort and flexibility will
go a long way towards determining bar positioning. When gripping the
bar, at first it is best to place your hands as close together as
possible, to maintain tension in the upper back, and to avoid any
chance of the bar slipping. As a general rule, the lower you place the
bar, the wider your hands will have to be. Anything placed between the
bar and the lifter, such as a pad or towel, decreases the force of
friction and increases the chance of the bar slipping. It is to avoid
injuries that this practice is banned in competition. Also, this will
artificially raise the lifter’s CCOG, which makes it harder to balance
under a heavy load.

Look slightly upward when squatting, to avoid rounding the upper
back. The movement should be initiated from the hips, by pushing the
glutes back, not down. This will assist in keeping the shins vertical.
On the way down, keep the torso as close to vertical as possible,
continue to push the hips back, and push the knees out to the sides,
avoiding the tendency to allow them to collapse inward. The manner in
which the lifter descends will greatly influence the manner in which
the ascent is made. When the necessary depth is achieved, begin
ascending by pushing the head back, and continue to concentrate on
pushing the knees outward.

One of the most common mistakes made while squatting, or performing
any exercise for that matter, is improper breathing. At first, the
lifter should inhale on the way down, and exhale on the way up. Many
advanced lifters will take several large breaths, hold it all in on the
way down, and then exhale forcefully at their sticking point on the way
up. This technique, known as the “Partial Valsalva,” requires practice
like any other.

There are many other types of squats, but all of them are secondary
to the squat itself, which is appropriately termed the “King of

The front squat is performed in a similar manner, but the bar is
held in the clean position, across the anterior deltoids, not the
clavicles. The hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width, and
the elbows should be elevated as much as possible. The bar is
maintained as high as possible by elevating the elbows. This allows the
lifter to maintain a more upright posture, and increases the emphasis
on the glutes, while lessening the involvement of the lower back. This
exercise may allow a lifter who lacks the flexibility required to
perform a full squat achieve a reasonable depth while improving
flexibility. The front squat will place far more emphasis on the
quadriceps muscles and less recruitment of the hamstrings takes place.
7 (20) When comparing the squat to other exercises, it is important to
note that the squat causes less compressive force to the knee joint,
and greater hamstring activation, than both the leg press and the leg
extension. (21)

Another popular type of squatting exercise is the split squat
(“lunge”). In this type of squat, the legs are placed at approximately
shoulder width, but one foot is out in front of the athlete and one is
placed to the rear, as if a lifter has just completed the jerk portion
of the clean and jerk. The athlete descends by bending the front leg
until the knee is slightly forward of the toes. The shin of the front
leg should be ten degrees past perpendicular to the floor. It is
important to maintain an upright posture when doing so. As when
squatting, co-activation of the hamstring serves to protect the knee
joint during flexion, (22) which is very important as often a greater
degree of flexion will occurring when performing the split squat.

Certain misinformed and so-called “personal trainers” will have
people squat in a smith machine, which is, quite simply, an idea both
hideous and destructive. This is often done under the misguided “squat
this way until you are strong enough to perform a regular squat”
premise. Even if one overlooks the obvious fact that it is better to
learn to do something right than build bad habits from the start, there
are numerous other factors to be considered. The smith machine
stabilizes the bar for the lifter, which does not teach the skill of
balancing the bar, balance being important to any athlete, as well as
the fact that free weight squatting strengthens the synergists which
goes a long way to preventing injuries. A chain is only as strong as
its weakest link, and the smith machine leaves far too many weak links.
To say nothing of the fact that free weights provide a greater transfer
of functional strength than machines. (23)Furthermore, the bar moves
straight up and down, and very few people squat in this manner, which
means that the smith machine does not fit a lifters optimal strength
curve. (24) The smith machine also requires that the lifter either
squats with his torso much closer to vertical than would be done with a
real squat, which mechanically decreases the involvement of both the
spinal erectors and the hamstrings. While this would be fine if it was
done by the lifters muscular control, when the smith machine does this
it is disadvantageous to the lifter by virtue of decreasing the ability
of the hamstrings to protect the knee joint. Another mistake made,
aside from simply using it in the first place, is allow the knees to
drift forward over the toes, the chance of which is increased by the
smith machine. As was previously mentioned, this greatly increases the
shearing force on the knees. This from a device touted by the ignorant
as “safe.”

There is a great debate about the use of belts when squatting, some
sources insist that you must wear one, while others state quite the
opposite. It is worth noting that there are plusses and minuses to
wearing one. Using a proper belt while squatting can serve to increase
intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) which will serve to stabilize the spinal
column, reducing compressive forces acting upon the spine and reducing
back muscle forces. (25) However, muscle activity of the trunk appears
to be significantly reduced when using a weight belt, which can lead to
the muscles of the trunk receiving a less than optimal stimulus when
using a belt. (26) Other proponents of belt use have shown that the use
of a properly designed power belt may improve a lifter's explosive
power by increasing the speed of the movement without compromising the
joint range of motion or overall lifting technique. (27)

There are numerous methods of utilizing the squat in any athlete’s
training program. While a variety of rep and set ranges are optimal for
a bodybuilder who wishes to maximize hypertrophy, an athlete’s must
carefully plan a training program to meet their goals. Even though
squatting will lead to gains in size, strength, and jumping ability,
the more specific the program, the greater the results. When an
untrained subject begins lifting, numerous programs produce gains in
practically all areas, but this changes rapidly, with limited progress
being made unless something is altered. (28)

To utilize the squat to gain in size is both simple and complex.
Individuals will respond to a variety of rep ranges in different
manners based on fiber type, training history, biomechanics, injuries,
etc. Bodybuilders, who are concerned exclusively with gains in size,
should squat heavy, as fast-twitch muscle fibers have the greatest
potential for hypertrophy. However, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (growth of
muscle tissue outside of the sarcoplasmic reticulum) will contribute to
overall muscular size, and is obtained by training with lighter weights
and higher reps. Rate of training is once again an individual decision,
but as a general rule, the greater the volume of training, including
time under tension (TUT) per workout, the longer one must wait before
recovery is optimized, allowing supercompensation to take place. A word
of caution about performing higher repetitions while squatting: As the
set progresses, the degree of forward lean increases. While this is
desirable to increase the stress on the hamstrings, it takes the
emphasis off of the quadriceps, as well as increases the risk of
injury. (29)

An athlete wishing to improve his vertical jump should not only
squat, but perform a variety of assistance work specific to both
improving squatting strength as well as specifically improving jumping
skill. As jumping requires a great expenditure of force in a minimal
amount of time, exercises such as squatting should be performed to
increase muscle power, as muscle cross-sectional area significantly
correlates to force output. (30) When wishing to increase one’s power
through squatting to assist in the vertical jump, one must train to
generate a high degree of force.(31 ,32 ,33 ) This is done by squatting
a dynamic manner, where one is attempting to generate a large amount of
power while using submaximal weights. This has been shown to provide a
great training stimulus for improving the vertical jump. (34) A program
consisting of a session once-weekly heavy squatting, ballistic lifting,
and plyometric training, with each being performed during a separate
workout, should provide maximal stimulus while allowing maximal
recovery and supercompensation.(35,36)

When training to improve one’s overall squatting ability, expressed
as a one-repetition maximum (1rm), once again a variety of programs may
be utilized. The most common is a simple periodized program where, over
time, the training weight is increased and the number of repetitions
decreases. This sort of program is utilized by both Weightlifters and
Powerlifters alike. A sample periodized program is included in Appendix
B. Some sources state that you must train to failure, while others
state that one should train until form begins to break down, leaving a
small reserve of strength but reducing the risk of injury. It should be
stated that there is no evidence that indicates training to failure
produces a greater training stimulus than traditional volume training.

Far and away the most complicated, and controversial training
program is the conjugate training method. Using this method one trains
to develop maximal acceleration in the squat during one workout, and in
another workout (72 hours later) generate maximum intensity in a
similar exercise to the squat. This is based on an incredibly lengthy
study by A. S. Prelepin, one of the greatest sports physiologists of
the former Soviet Union. (37) This method also uses the practice of
compensatory acceleration, where an athlete attempts to generate as
much force as possible, by not only generating maximal acceleration,
but by continuing to attempt to increase acceleration as the lifter’s
leverage improves. The addition of chains or bands can increase the
workload as well as force the athlete to work harder to accelerate the
bar. Utilizing this system, the squat is trained for low repetitions
(2) but a high number of sets (10 – 12), with training intensities
being 50 – 70% of the athlete’s 1rm. Rest periods are short (45 – 75
seconds), and the squats are often performed on a box, which breaks up
the eccentric-concentric chain, and inhibits the stretch reflex,
forcing the athlete to generate the initial acceleration out of the
bottom of the lift without the benefit of the elasticity of the muscle

During the second workout, an exercise which taxes the muscles
recruited when squatting, but not an actual squat, is performed for
very low repetitions (1-3, usually one). The goal on this day is to
improve neuromuscular coordination by increased motor unit recruiting,
increased rate coding, and motor unit synchronization. This allows the
athlete to continue to generate maximal intensity week after week, but
by rotating exercises regularly optimal performance is maintained. For
one microcycle, a squat-like exercise is performed, such as a box
squat, rack squat, or front squat is performed, then the athlete
switches to a different type of exercise, such as good mornings,
performed standing, seated, from the rack, etc. for another microcycle,
then switches exercises again, often to a pulling type exercise such as
deadlifts with a variety of stances, from pins, from a platform, or any
number of other variations. Once again, chains or bands may be added to
increase the workload. A sample training program is included in
Appendix B, and a variety of maximal effort exercises can be found in
Appendix C.

Assistance work for the squat is of the utmost importance. The
primary muscles which contribute to the squat, in no particular order,
are the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors/extensors, abdominals, and
spinal erectors. When an athlete fails to rise from the bottom of a
squat, it is important to note that not all of the muscles are failing
simultaneously. Rather, a specific muscle will fail, and the key to
progress is identifying the weakness, then strengthening it. A partial
list of assistance exercises is provided in Appendix D. While it is
impossible to simply state that if x happens when squatting, it is
muscle y that is causing the problem, some general guidelines follow.
If a lifter fails to rise from the bottom of a squat, it generally
indicates either a weakness in the hip flexors and extensors, or a lack
of acceleration due to inhibition of the golgi tendon organ (no stretch
reflex – train with lighter weight and learn to accelerate if this is
the case). If an athlete has a tendency to lean forward and dump the
bar overhead, it generally indicates either weak hamstrings or
erectors. If an athlete has trouble stabilizing the bar, or maintaining
an upright posture, it is often due to a weakness in the abs.

The above factors assume that proper technique is being maintained.
If this is not the case, no amount of specific work will overcome this
problem. Drop the weight and concentrate on improving skill, which is
far more important than training the ego, and less likely to lead to

Safety is the key issue when squatting, or performing any lift.
With a few simple precautions, practically anyone may learn to squat,
and do so quite effectively. The rewards are well worth the effort.
Squat heavy, squat often, and above all, squat safely.
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Default 08-21-2005, 08:24 AM

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Appendix A: Anatomical References

Trapezius (i): The lower half of the trapezius (“traps 3” and
“traps 4”) assist in retracting the scapulae and maintaining proper
alignment of the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. The Trapezius also
assist in maintaining the head in an erect position. This serves to
secure the bar in a stable position on the upper back, as well as
maintain a proper arch in the upper back (thoracic vertebrae).

The Levator Anguli Scapulae, Rhomboideus major(b), and Rhomboideus
minor all function to retract the scapulae, maintain alignment of the
cervical vertebrae, retract the scapulae, and maintain proper position
of the shoulder girdle while support a fixed load (barbell). Levator
not shown, inferior to the scapulae(g). These muscles are of the utmost
importance in maintaining the bar position while squatting.

Latissimus dorsai: These wide muscles which cover the lumbar and
lower half of the dorsal regions will contract isometrically to avoid
compression of the shoulder girdle. They assist in maintaining rigidity
in the spinal column, which allow proper arching (lordosis) of the
spine while squatting.

The Erector spinae(1), Sacro-lumbalis(b), Longissimus Dorsi(2_, and
Spinalis Dorsi(3) all serve to maintain the spine in the erect posture.
They also serve to bend the trunk backward when it is required to
counterbalance a weight such as when squatting. Numerous smaller
muscles function to stabilize the spinal column during back extension,
by contracting to maintain vertebral alignment. It should be noted that
during a heavy squat, the erectors and their synergists will be quite
heavily taxed. Due to the need for the athlete-barbell system to
maintain a proper combined center of gravity (CCOG), there will be a
certain amount of forward inclination of the trunk taking place, to
maintain barbell position over the athlete’s base of support (the

The abdominals: The Rectus(f), Obliques internus(c ), Obliques
externus(b), Transersalis(d), Pyramidalis, and Quadratus lumborum all
contract isometrically to support the trunk under a compressive load.
Pyramidalis (not shown) is a small triangular muscle sheathed within
the base of the rectus.

Serratus posticus superior and inferior: Both assist in maintaining
rigidity in the torso by contracting isometrically to support the chest
cavity as well as providing support for the lumbar vertebrae. Figure
Four: Serratus superior (g). Not shown, inferior, below superior.

The intercostals: External intercostals(1), Internal intercostals,
Infracostals, Triangularis sterni, and Leytores costarum all contract
isometrically to stabilize the ribcage under a compressive load. Only
externals are indicated. Other muscles in this group are inferior to
the Externals.

The Glutei function to adduct the thigh. The Gluteus maximus(c )
and medius(2) rotate the thigh outward, and the minimus(1) rotates it
inward. The Gluteus maximus extends the femur and brings the bent thigh
into a line with the body. The Gluteus medius and minimus flex the
thigh. The Glutei also function to achieve an erect posture after

The hamstrings, which consist of the Biceps Femoris(g),
Semimembranosus(i), and Semitendinosis(h), serve to flex the knee. They
also function to extend the torso, such as when rising from a squatting
position. The Semitendinosus and, to a lesser extent, the
Semimembranosus, assist in rotating the thigh inward.

The Illiacus(o), Psoas magnus(c), and Psoas parvus(q) (often called
the illio-psoas muscle group), acting from above, flex the thigh upon
the pelvis, and at the same time rotate the femur outward. Acting from
below, the femur being fixed, the muscles of both sides bend the lumbar
portion of the spine and pelvis upon the femur. They also serve to
maintain the erect position by supporting the spine and pelvis upon the

The Quadriceps function to extend the knee joint, while the
Sartorius flexes the leg upon the thigh and the thigh upon the pelvis.
Rectus (1), Vastus Externus (2), Vastus Internus (“medialis")(3),
Sartorius (c ). When the knee is bent the Sartorious assists the
Semitendinosis in rotating the tibia inward. The Rectus assists the
Psoas and Iliacus in supporting the pelvis upon the trunk upon the

The Pectineus(f), the Adductor Brevis (g), the Adductor Longus (h),
and the Adductor Magnus (not shown, inferior to the other adductors)
powerfully adduct (move inward) the thigh. The Pectineus and Adductor
Brevis and Longus assist the Psoas and Illiacus in flexing the thigh
upon the pelvis. The Gracilis (I) assists the Sartorius in flexing the
leg and rotating it inward, it is also an adductor of the thigh.

Appendix B: Sample Training Programs

Basic Periodized Program:

Week One: Squat 50% 1rm, three sets, 10 reps.

Week Two: Squat 55% 1rm, three sets, 10 reps.

Week Three: Squat 60% 1rm, three sets, 8 reps.

Week Four: Squat 65% 1 rm, three sets, 8 reps.

Week Five: Squat 70% 1 rm, three sets, 8 reps.

Week Six: Squat 75% 1 rm, three sets, 5 reps.

Week Seven: Squat 80% 1rm, three sets, 5 reps.

Week Eight: Squat 85% 1rm, three sets, 3 reps.

Week Nine: Squat 90% 1rm, three sets, 3 reps.

Week Ten: Squat 95% 1 rm, three sets, 2 reps.

Week Eleven: Squat 100% 1rm, three sets, 1 rep.

Week Twelve: Squat 105% of previous 1 repetition maximum for one repetition.

Basic Conjugate Training Program:

Each workout is performed once a week for a three week microcycle.

Day One: Maximal Acceleration:

Box squat: 10 sets, 2 reps, 50% 1rm.

Box squat: 2 sets, 2 reps, 60% 1rm.

Arched Back Good Mornings: 3 sets, 5 reps.

Reverse Hyper Extensions: 3 sets, 8 reps.

Russian Twist: 3 sets, 10 reps.

Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets, 15 reps.

Day Two: Maximal Effort, performed 72 hours later:

Front Squat from low box: 1rm.

Glute-Ham Raise: 3 sets, 5 reps.

Reverse Hyper Extensions: 3 sets, 10 reps.

Weighted Sit Ups: 3 sets, 8 reps.

Calf Raise: 3 sets: 10 reps.

Repeat for three weeks (total) and then switch to:

Day One:

Box Squat: 10 sets, 2 reps, 55% 1rm.

Box Squat: 2 sets, 2 reps, 65% of 1rm.

Pull Throughs: 3 sets, 12 reps.

Reverse Hyper Extensions: 3 sets, 6 reps.

Hanging Leg Raise: 4 sets, 12 reps.

Donkey Calf Raise: 3 sets, 8 reps.

Day Two:

Sumo Deadlift with plates 6” off floor (lower by 2” each week for the next two weeks): 1rm

Split Squat: 3 sets, 5 reps.

Reverse Hyper Extensions: 3 sets, 10 reps.

Weighted Side Bend: 3 sets, 10 reps.

Calf Press: 3 sets, 10 reps.

After three weeks, again rotate exercises.

Appendix C: Partial List of Maximal Effort Exercises

Squatting Exercises:

Low Box Squat

High Box Squat

(either lift may be performed with one of the following:

Buffalo Bar

Manta Ray

Cambered Squat Bar)

Saftey Squat Bar)

Chains or bands may be added.

Low Box Front Squat (modified as above)

Good Morning Squat

Overhead Squat(may be performed off a box, with a variety of stances.

Zercher Squat

Pulling Exercises:

Conventional Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift

(either lift may be performed from a variety of pin heights in the power rack)

Deadlift from platform

Zercher Deadlift

Trap Bar Deadlift

Clean Pulls

Snatch Pulls

Snatch Grip Deadlift (may be done from various heights)

Good Mornings:

Arched Back

Round Back (Only for advanced lifters. If you are not sure, you are not advanced.)


Good mornings on floor with legs outstretched

(all may be modified as per the squat)

Good mornings can also be performed to various pin heights in the power rack.

Appendix D: Partial List of Assistance Exercises

Exercises for the lower back and hamstrings:

Good Mornings(see Appendix C)

Glute Ham Raise

High Repetition Deadlifts (done with glutes pushed to the rear, only lowered to just below knee level)

Reverse Hyper Extensions

Pull Throughs

Exercises for the hamstrings:

Manual Hamstring Curl

Leg Curls (this is the least effective of the entire list)

Exercises for the Hip Flexors:

Kneeling Squats

Ultra-Wide Sumo Deadlifts

Overhead Squats done to a low box with a sumo stance

Spread Eagle Sit Ups

Heavy Step Ups

Exercises for the Abdominals:

Weighted Sit Ups

Medicine Ball Throws on decline board

Standing Ab Pulldowns

Ab Bench

Hanging Leg Raise

Exercises for the Obliques:

Russian Twist

Weighted Side Bends

Atlas Twist

Weighted Sit Ups on decline board with twist

Exercises for the Quads:

Belt Squats

Split Squats

Front Squats


Supertraining: Siff and Verkoshansky, 1999.

Physiology of Sport and Exercise, Wilmore and Costill, 1994. Human Kinetics.

Science and Practice of Strength Training, V. M. Zatsiorsky, 1995. Human Kinetics.

The Weightlifting Encyclopedia, A. Drechsler, 1998. A is A publications.

Gray’s Anatomy, H. Gray, 1998. House of Collectables.

The Training of the Weightlifter, R. A. Roman, 1988. Sportivny Press.

A System of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting. A. S. Medvedyev, 1989. Sportivny Press.

Power: A Scientific Approach. F. C. Hatfield, 1989. Contemporary books.

Squatting, Westside Style, Dave Tate, 2000. Elite Fitness Systems.

Biomechanics of Sport. J. Garhammer, 1989. CRC Press.

Designing Resistance Training Programs. S. J. Fleck and W. J. Kraemer, 1987. Human Kinetics.

Weight Training: A Scientific Approach. M. H. Stone and H. S. O’Bryant, 1987. Bellwether Press.
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