Exercise 4: Zercher Squats
Benefits: The Zercher squat involves much more abdominal and lower back stimulation, without as much compressional forces on the spine due to the placement of the bar. The Front load can also promote a deeper depth, which can train you to have a better quality back squat in the long run.
The How To: Set up a bar in the squat cage at waist level, and position yourself so that the bar is loaded right in the crook of the arms. Link the fingers and make sure that your knuckles point to the ceiling for the entire time. Set the feet just outside shoulder width and maintain an arch in the low back. Slowly lower yourself to the bottom position while maintaining an upright torso and keeping the bar close to the body. Fire the glutes and abs hard and return to the starting position. Don’t expect to use the same weight you back squat or front squat in this exercise. It won’t take much to hit the muscles hard.