Posts Tagged ‘squatting’

Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Don’t Waste Time Training Legs the Wrong Way!

Leg Training Mistakes
Your legs are the foundation of your physique. With their bulging tear drops, incision-like cuts, and shredded striations, prize leg development can win you a contest. Lagging leg development can also lose you a contest. Additionally, having strong legs makes it that much easier to develop a strong upper body. Here are 6 mistakes most athletes make when training their legs. These tips apply both to active bodybuilders and newbies, so pay attention!

The Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

  1. Not Training Legs At All

    A lot of people completely avoid leg training. Why? Personally, I find it hard to understand. But there’s obviously a reason why they do; theories are they already have some preconceived notion that their legs are developed beyond what they are in actuality, or they see leg training as “hard”.

    It’s true that leg training can be painful, and you generally are sore afterwards, but many bodybuilders grow to love that soreness, as with other muscles. Avoiding leg training is a critical mistake, and you can’t build a house without a foundation.


5 Squatting Mistakes

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How NOT to Squat

Chick Squatting
8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best: “shut up and squat.” [1] After all, there’s nothing better for building lower body mass. Squats force you to use numerous stabilizing muscles and exhaust hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

To get the most out of squats, however, they must be executed with correct form. Avoiding these common squat mistakes will take both your performance and physique to the next level.

Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Core

The core is the body’s center of gravity and is where movement originates. [2]If you have a weak core, it will be much harder to keep the weight stable. It also places you at a greater risk for hip or lower back injury.
To properly engage your core when performing a squat, concentrate on sucking your belly button towards your spine. A strong core will be able to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. If you have a weak core, using a weight belt around the waist protects the spine and keeps you from relaxing the core.


Dumbell Squats

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Dumbell Squats - You're doing them wrong!

How to Increase Your Squat

Monday, August 9th, 2010

How to Increase Your Squat By 100 Pounds in 10 Weeks

Update: Here is an old post I found about increasing your squat strength. I’m not sure that anyone ever really gave me much positive feedback on it, so I’m posting it again in case anyone wants to take a stab at putting 100 pounds on their squat in 10 weeks.

Arnold Squats
Arnold Squats

The squat is arguably the best exercise that any athlete can perform. Overhead press, bench press, and deadlifts rank right up there too, but I digress… No one wants to have a weak squat. To be considered ‘really strong’ you should be able to squat 2x your bodyweight.

Back in college I was regularly squatting 450 or so at a fluctuating bodyweight of 190-210 lbs. I have no genetic gifts when it comes to muscle size and strength. If I can lift 450 anyone can, so man up and put in some effort.

The goals of this workout plan are:


How to Overhead Squat

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

How to Perform Overhead Squats

How to Overhead Squat
How to Overhead Squat

Among the best exercises for strength, size, speed, and power, are squats – no exceptions. Front squats, jump squats, and overhead squats are all great alternatives to the king of squat exercises – the barbell back squat.

Squatting will help you develop powerful legs and a rigid core, have no doubt, but when we get creative we can mix and match exercises for an even more effective exercise that trains the whole body.

Sometimes we must think about our upper body as well and there is no better way to look and feel jacked, than to build massively strong shoulders. And there is no better way to feel sexy as a female, than to have sleek, strong, healthy shoulders. It is also equally important to build structurally invincible shoulders to proactively protect yourself from injury.

Combine everything together that I’ve just mentioned, and you get the overhead barbell squat. Let’s see how to do them correctly.


How to Increase Your Vertical Jump

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Increasing Your Vertical Jumping Ability

A single vertical jump for maximum height is one of the most intense exercises you can do.

Why? Because it requires you to utilize your entire lower body chain in a maximal effort contraction, to produce a maximal amount of force in a split second.

The important aspects of training to work on, to increase your vertical leap include:

Vertical Jump
Vertical Jump
  • Squatting strength – Maximal leg strength transfers directly to a vertical jump. A strong 1 rep max = a big jump.
  • Squatting speed – The faster you can squat, the more power you can generate, the higher you can jump.
  • Squatting power – Tied in directly with speed and strength, squat heavier and squat faster and you will jump higher.
  • Acceleration – You want to continue accelerating out of the hole all the way through the top of your jump.
  • Single leg strength – To eliminate strength imbalances and to improve neuromuscular coordination, train your legs individually.
  • Calf strength – Your calves are used at the end of the jump, so max calf strength can mean an extra inch on your vert.
  • Sprint speed – Sprinting trains the Type-II Fast Twitch muscle fibers, which are what you need to attain your highest jump. Acceleration applies here as well.
  • Hip drive – Your hips are responsible for a significant portion of jumping power from a parallel squat position to standing.
  • Glute activation – Your glutes are responsible for driving you out of the hole at the bottom of a squat or jump.


How to Jump Squat

Monday, November 9th, 2009
Jump Squats
Jump Squats

Jump squats are great.

This is an excellent sport specific exercise that can be used alongside plyometrics to help you increase your vertical jump.

Jump squats will also help you power through a plateau in your regular squat development by conditioning your quads and hips to power through the lockout at the top of the movement.

Jump squats are an excellent sport specific exercise that can be used to increase power for:

  • Olympic weight lifters
  • Olympic athletes that either throw (javelin, shot put) or jump (long jump, pole vault)
  • Basketball players who need to jump high
  • Football players who block or tackle

Add jump squats to your regular workout, your HIIT routine, your HIRT routine, or your sport specific training.


Poll Results: Squatting to Parallel vs. Squatting to the Floor

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

The results are in for the April 4th’s Question of the Week: Squats to Parallel or Ass-to-Grass? 45% of you said we should be squatting only to parallel, and 48% of you said we should be squatting ass-to-grass, ass-to-floor, ass-to-ankles, or whatever you might call it.

My initial vote went for squatting to parallel or just below. Now that the voting is closed though, I am going to qualify my answer. I think squatting to the floor under a maximal effort load is probably a bad idea. If you are going for a 1-3 rm pr, you should not be squatting to the floor. I just feel that this is one way to destroy your knees and possibly injure your back if you’re not careful. However, I am of the firm belief that squatting all the way down can definitely be beneficial in conditioning drills.

There’s no reason we can’t bodyweight squat to the floor. Nor is there a reason we shouldn’t be able to descend to the floor at the bottom of a jump squat. Many exercises and many functional movements in life depend on us being able to squat to the floor, either to pick something up, to get out of the way of a projectile object, or to prepare of an earth shattering vertical leap.

Let me just leave you with the idea that you should not be squatting 800 lbs to the floor. This is dumb. But definitely pick up your Atlas stone from the floor. Definitely bust out some super wide grip dynamic deadlifts off a box. Bang out 200 bodyweight squats, all the way down to three quarters of the way up (don’t you dare lock your knees out during bodyweight squat sets). Work those knees and strengthen those hips!

Off Topic

One more thing. I have been reading more and more about CrossFit. This type of training really interests me, and I will blog about it much more in the near future.