Today, I have another bodyweight corrective exercise for you.
This one is for your backside. This exercise is a variation on the squat that allows you to build stronger glutes, among many other benefits.
Give this exercise a go and let me know how you feel!
Rick Kaselj, MS.
Building A Better Backside Exercise Index
We are going to be performing the Zercher Squat. This is a great variation to get a lot more glute activation. We are going to hold the bar in the Zercher position, which is just right into that crease of your elbow.
Zercher refers to the position you are holding the bar in, and can be used in other exercises such as deadlifts or carries. Holding the bar in the Zercher position (in the crook of your elbows) has many other benefits for your training. The Zercher hold can increase your upper back strength gains because the Zercher position engages your whole upper back musculature, including your traps, rhomboids and deltoids. This position also requires a stronger core contraction to stay stable, so you will get a better core workout. Since the Zercher squat allows you to get deeper into your squat, it is a great exercise for strengthening your quads and glutes. Lastly, this position requires your biceps to constantly fire to keep the bar stable. So even though you are doing a squat, you will get a bonus bicep workout in at the same time.
The heavier the weight gets, the harder it is on the actual skin and in that crease. To minimize discomfort, you can wrap it with a towel or you can use a squat pad for your back..
I had Will face the other side as he performed the Zercher Squat.
Similar to regular squats, stay nice and tall. As you come down, bring your hands upfront slightly so you don’t end up hitting your knees. All of the weight will try to pull you forward, making this a difficult exercise. You’ll typically use a lot less weight than you would in a normal squat. You will have to really work your glutes to stay stable and press yourself back up. This variation of the squat may also allow you to squat down deeper than other types of squats, activating your glutes even more and building a stronger backside.
Make sure to be aware of your elbows as you move through this exercise. This version of the squat places additional stress on the elbows, and should be avoided if you experience elbow pain or discomfort. The Zercher position may also constrict your breathing, cause discomfort or round your lower back. Be mindful of your breathing and how your body feels as you go through this exercise, adjusting your weight accordingly.
This is the Zercher Squat. It is a challenging exercise, but if you are able to do it, you will reap the benefits.
Take care and have a great day!
Rick Kaselj, MS
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