I've been squatting since age 13.
I'm 5'10" and according to the fallacy, I should be 5'1" since squats "stunt your growth."
I've done 50 sets of Squats in a day and didn't get rhabdo or need to go to the hospital.
I've squatted 315 for 22 reps on my 22nd birthday and squatted 225 for 50 reps.
Squats are good for the body AND the soul.
But, as we get older and accumulate mileage of iron on the body, it's important to switch up
Use variations of the squat to work yourself from different angles.
Not only do your legs get worked from different angles, so does your back and trunk.
Your shoulders get a break as well.
Now, I didn't start using squat variations until my mid to late 20s.
And, some food for thought, in the 90s and early 2000s, I am sure the colleges only had straight bars.
They didn't have a specialty bar for everyone.
We're all special, but, NOT that special 🙂
So, here's 5 Squat variations that I implement often both at The Underground Strength Gym as well as through my online training Team HERE.
1) Box Squat
- These will hit the hamstrings a bit more and also allow you to play with foot stance.
I tend to take a wider stance on these compared to our free squats.
Sometimes I do 3 - 5 reps each of ultra wide, wide, athletic / shoulder width.
2) Zercher Squat
- I love these and they were a staple in my program when I had a back injury.
The direct spinal loading isn't there and it's much more of a bracing through your abs and back.
We do these with a barbell or sandbag.
3) Kettlebell Squats
- From double KB squats to one sided rack squats, these are a great break from a barbell.
They force you to remain upright and you're able to move weights from off set loading patterns as well.
4) Front Squat
- I LOVE this barbell variation and I will do them with a pause in the bottom or no pause.
It's amazing how this Squat variation crushes people emotionally because of the slight wrist discomfort the first few times.
It's a great teaching moment bc you must explain to athletes that this portion of the squat is the finish of a power clean.
It is also time to force them to go lighter, hit some pause reps and get a different training effect.
5) Sandbag Squats
- Again, an anterior loaded squat variation, the athlete must aggressively lift the bag to avoid the arms resting on the legs in the bottom of the squat.
I took the college wrestlers through a squat workout where we did 2 x 10 reps of sandbag squats, then 2 x 10 of double KB squats.
It was brutal!
Open up your lifting variations.
This excites you to train hard and gives the body a break from the same loading pattern.
This keeps you feeling healthy and in turn, you love training.
Variety is FUN.
Training should be FUN!
Strong is STRONG. If I ONLY measure my strength by the barbell then I am leaving out many other training methods and loading patterns. The variety keeps the muscles shocked and I get fired up and excited with the variety.
Nothing wrong with having a BLAST when you train!
Let's get after it together with my online training program HERE.
We've got members from college athletes to men and women in their 50s and older. Strength never discriminates.