50 Ways to Increase Your Squat

Ron Fedkiw Squat

How do you increase your Squat? I recently searched the internet for ways to increase my Squat, but couldn’t find one article which had all the different ways to increase your Squat.

So I decided to write an article on how to increase your Squat, 50 Ways To Increase Your Squat.

Before you start: this article is meant for the low bar, Powerlifting style, Back Squat (pic above). But you might fine some tips helpful if you do Olympic Squats or Front Squats.


Increase Strength

1. Train heavier. Duh. Do more heavy Squats. Think singles with 90% 1RM.

2. Strengthen your Quads. Front Squats, Olympic Squats. No leg extensions.

3. Strengthen your Hips. Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, Box Squats, Power Cleans, Glute-Ham Raises, Pullthroughs, Reverse Hypers, …

4. Strengthen your Glutes. Deep Olympic & Front Squats (below parallel, ATG), Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, …

5. Strengthen your Lower Back. Deadlifts, Goodmornings, Weighted Hyperextensions, Reverse Hypers, …

6. Strengthen your Upper Back. Barbell Rows, Pull-ups, Deadlifts, Rack Pulls, Power Cleans, Power Snatch, High Pulls, …

7. Strengthen your Abs. Turkish Get-Ups, Front Squats, Zercher Squats, Overhead Squats, Windmills, Waiter Walks, Weighted Roman Chair Situps, …

8. Unilateral Work. Lunges, Step-Ups, Bulgarian Squats, One Leg Deadlifts, …


Increase Speed
9. Go Faster. Squat as fast as you can. Start with your warm-up: explode from the bottom. The more you do this, the better you become.

10. Speed Squats. Do several sets of doubles & triples at 70-80% intensity. Not lighter or you’ll spend more time decelerating rather than accelerating the bar.

11. Bands. Popularized by Westside Barbell: bands will teach you to accelerate the bar. Attach bands to your bar & squat against the resistance.

12. Chains. Another accommodating resistance method. Chains also teach you to accelerate the bar.

13. Chains + Bands. Be creative, feel free to mix both for maximal results.

14. Jump Squats. I’m not a big fan of these, but you can always try.


Increase Power

15. Box Squats. Box Squats develop power.

16. Plyometrics. Depth Jumps are perfect to develop leg power.

17. Olympic Lifts. Power Cleans teach you to explode under the bar.


Train Sticky Point

18. Train the Bottom End. Pause Squat, Pin Squats.

19. Train the Middle Part. Pin Squats, Squat with chains.

20. Train the Lockout. Squat with chains are your best friend.


Improve Technique
21. How to Squat with Proper Form. That article will get you started.

22. Squeeze your abs. A tight core is key to lifting big weights. It’s also safer for your lower back. Take a big breath, force it into your belly & squeeze your abs.

23. Keep the bar over your mid-foot. Straight vertical line over your balance point reduces moments and is the most effective way to Squat.

24. Push your knees out . You’ll engage your adductors more. More muscles working means more weight you’ll Squat.

25. Keep your head neutral. Don’t look your up or your hips and knees will shift forward. Both shortens your hamstrings and kill hip power out of the bottom.

26. Stand should-width apart. You can push your knees out better if your heels are shoulder-width apart. You’ll also decrease the distance hip to bar. Both result in more weight you’ll Squat.

27. Tighten your Upper-back. The bar needs a strong base to sit on. Squeeze your shoulder-blades together. Try shoulder dislocations if you lack flexibility.

28. Squeeze the bar harder. Think white knuckling. Squeeze the bar as hard as you can so the bar doesn’t start moving around on your back and pull you forward.

29. Take a bigger breath. This increases abdominal pressure and gives your lower back support. Big breath, hold it, Squat.

30. Squat more. The more you Squat, the better yor form will be. Start Squatting three times a week – check StrongLifts 5×5.

31. Video tape yourself. The mirror only gives you info over one plane so it’s ineffective. Tape yourself from the side, and check if you’re keeping the bar over your mid-foot when you Squat.

Improve Mobility & Flexibility.
32. Improve Hip Mobility. The best stretch to get those knees out and hit parallel is to simple sit on the Squat position every day. Chest up, elbows against your knees.

33. Improve Shoulder Flexibility. If you can’t get the bar into proper position, perform shoulder dislocations several times a week.

34. Improve thoracic extension. You’ll struggle with the low bar Squat position if your upper-back is rounded. Get on the foam roller and loosen up your upper-back.

35. Spinal Decompressions. Heavy Squats compress your spine. Spinal decompressions restore your spine’s original length, keeping it healthy.


Training Programs

36. StrongLifts 5×5. Quickest way to get your Squat from 0 to 100kg/225lb. Get the apps.

37. Madcow 5×5. Three Squat sessions a week alternating between light, medium & heavy days.

38. Smolov. 100lbs weight increase in 13 weeks. You’ll have to work hard to get there, but the reward is great.


The Dont’s

39. Don’t Squat in running shoes. They reduce power transmission & impair foot stability. Buy a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star they’re cheap & efficient.

40. Don’t use mirrors. They only gives you info on 1 plane. Learn to feel the movement, listen to your body.

41. Never Let Your Knees Buckle In. Push your knees out, this will avoid you knee injuries.

42. Don’t Squat high bar. If you want to get stronger, you need to use the low bar position so you can engage your stronger posterior chain muscles.

43. Don’t do half Squats. Continue hitting parallel on every single rep. Don’t start doing quarter and half Squats, they don’t count.

44. Don’t use drugs. Shortcuts are for losers.


Other Ways to Increase Your Squat

45. Squat with stronger people. Train with people who Squat more than you. They’ll inspire you can do it too.

46. Increase Your Muscle Mass. Bigger muscles equals more strength. Eat more if you want to Squat the heaviest weights.

47. Recovery. Make sure you recover well between workouts. Eat your calories, sleep, etc.

48. Use Belts. Belts increase pressure in your abdomen adding support to your abs & lower back. This leads to more weight.

49. Train Hard. If you want to get somewhere, you’ll have to train hard.

50. Squat. If you train hard & Squat persistently, the only thing that will prevent you to increase your Squat is an injury. In the end, you just need to Squat.

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