How to go heavier on your squat

If you’re taking your squat game seriously then you need to be working on increasing your load.

For many people the squat is a primary move.  This compound move forms the foundation of any good leg workout. 

If you’re new to lifting, or you’re still a little uncertain about this mother of all moves, check out the following articles: 

How to use a squat rack >>>

How to improve your squat >>>

If you’re confident that you’ve got the above nailed, read on…

Adding to your squat load can be a little daunting at first, particularly if you have no spotter.

The biggest concern for most people is whether or not they will manage the load.  

Well you’ll never know if you don’t try! – Safely

There are a number of things you can do to help you go heavier, without actually going heavier.  

By using various ‘tricks of the trade’ and other support exercises, you can build your strength safely before you even attempt to load the bar!

Here are some quick fire tips to help you squat more

  • Take your shoes off, or get some lifting shoes – By keeping your feet flat and firmly placed on the floor (not in trainers with a gel sole) you instantly improve the load you can handle.

  • Use the leg press – The majority of people will be able to leg press more than they can squat, use this to your advantage.  The more you can isolate your quads, hamstrings and glutes the stronger they will be.
  • Use the hack squat – This is a wonderful piece of equipment for building your legs and in turn increasing your load.  The machine is assisted so no risk of failing the lift and having to bail out. 
  • Go light and go slow – It pays to strip the weight and really slow the movement down in a clean and controlled manner. This is also a great opportunity to really feel the burn and use visualisation techniques to help you grow
  • Go low – You should be squatting to parallel at least.

If you’re not squatting low enough without the weight, you have no business adding weight!  Go back to basics and master this move in it’s entirety.

  • Switch it up – Try doing more than just barbell back squats, the variation will help you grow.

Check out these weighted squat variations >>>

  • Low rep your max – Don’t be afraid to load the bar for 1-3 reps of your max weight, over time these low reps will add up, you will grow into that max until it becomes your norm.
  • Lower the bar – Sit the bar slightly lower on your upper back, this also helps to maintain good posture.
  • Widen your stance – Not quite sumo wide, but bring your heels down just outside of shoulder width apart, this will help balance and stabilise the load.
  • Load the bar with a little weight each time – Don’t underestimate the power of the little plates.  Even if it’s only an extra 2kg’s, you’ll be surprised how quickly the weight goes up from there! 
  • Don’t give upConsistency is King, keep going, the results will follow!

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