In a recent training log, I mention Zercher squats as an alternative to barbell squats, and you might have asked, “What is a Zercher squat?”
So, What is a Zercher Squat?
The Zercher squat was developed by Ed Zercher, a well-known powerlifter and strongman from St. Louis who competed back in the ’30s. Rumor has it that Zercher’s home gym lacked a squat rack, so he would load a barbell on the floor, squat in front of it, hold it in the crook of his arms and lift the weight with his legs and lower back.
Of course, few guys have the flexibility to start the Zercher squat from the floor, so you might try starting your Zerchers from a low rack.
Basically a combination deadlift and squat, the Zercher squat works the legs, glutes and lower back. Many lifters find it helps them get much better form on the squat; it’ll also help build strength in the bottom position where most trainers are typically weakest.
This guy seems to have pretty decent form during his Zerchers…