If you want to get better at something you have to spend more time doing it. As with anything repetition, repetition repetition. The more time you spend practicing the more comfortable you will get.
Over the last six months, to a year, I have spent the majority of my training focused around the big 3. The big 3 consists of the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
I had wanted to get into powerlifting, so, I really had to turn my focus towards getting as efficient as I could at the three movements.
The more time I spend practicing these movements the more comfortable I get. As with anything you do, if your not comfortable you will be less likely to succeed.
I spend a lot of time squatting, bench pressing and deadlifting but I also added in variations of the lifts.
Adding in variations really helped me overload, work on weak spots, and increase difficulty.
Now, with all that, I get to the point of this post. One of the variations that I have been using a lot is the PAUSE SQUAT.
A pause squat is a squat where you pause in the hole for anywhere from 1 to 3 seconds and sometimes even longer. You don’t have to just pause in the hole, you can also pause at the weak point of your lift. Your weak point could be in the hole, just out of the hole or a quarter of the way. Today, I want to go over three important points of the pause squat and how it can help you.
Here is a demo of a pause squat.[wpvideo D0imk6Tt]
1. Increasing power: In the squat, you have the stretch reflex which will help you rebound out of the hole. Essentially the quicker you go down, the quicker you come up. So how does the pause squat increase power? By pausing you eliminate the stretch reflex so you don’t get the rebound out of the hole.
Not having the stretch reflex causes you to develop power out of the hole. When you pause you force yourself to learn how to use your hips and quads to drive that weight up. Ultimately, this will increase your power, which will greatly help you when your going for a max weight.
2. Working on a your weakness: Pause squats will help you build a better squat regardless.
Now we are going to get picky. We all have sticking points when it comes to the squat. Some of us get stuck trying to come out of the hole, others get stuck right out of the hole, and some get stuck in the quarter squat position.
The first thing you need to do is acknowledge your weakness! Once you have found your weakness in your squat, you can determine where you will pause. Pausing at your sticking point will help you break through your weak spot and hit a PR.
3. Getting comfortable: During the pause squat you can really work on your form. You can work on getting to the same position at the bottom, you can feel where your body is in the hole, and you can work on staying tight at the bottom.
If you spend more time practicing these little techniques the more comfortable you will be when it comes time to hit big weights. The more comfortable you are at anything you do, the better your going to be.
We all want to be more powerful, blast through our weaknesses and be more comfortable, right? Pause squats will help you in all three of those aspects.
For your next leg day try implementing pause squats into your routine. If you have never done them before, you will probably get a new soreness that you haven’t felt before. Fighting through this tough exercise will make you better.
If you have any questions please let me know, I am here to help. If you enjoyed this post please share, I would REALLY appreciate it!