In our recent blog about improving your conditioning, we mentioned an exercise called the zercher squat as an alternative to using atlas balls (if you haven’t got any). Off the back of that, we received a fair few messages asking us what a zercher squat is, and what its benefits are. Whilst this exercise is on the app and has full exercise cues and pictures, here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits of a zercher squat and how it can fit into your programs.
Centre of mass
Placing the bar across your arms and holding into your mid-section keeps the centre of mass really close to you. This means that you have very little force pulling you out of alignment which can help you keep your posture upright and stable.
Mimic a front squat
Zercher squats can be used to mimic a front squat. This can come in handy if you get a shoulder injury or if you have a limited range of motion (ROM) around the shoulders which stops you doing a front squat.
Targets your core
As the zercher squat forces you into an upright position, your core muscles are forced to engage to a higher degree to maintain this. Core strength translates across pretty much any fitness or sport related goal, so its always a win.
Hits your distal quads
Your vastus medialis and lateralis are the two muscles in your quadriceps that attach distally around the end of the femur (bottom of the thigh). Increasing the size and strength of these muscles will give your legs a larger look, it will strengthen the knee joint and will also allow you to develop more force when running, jumping and landing.
Switch it up
Including zercher squats will switch up your training program and make sure that you don’t get bored! They will give you a new challenge to smash and provide a different stimulus for the body!
So there you have it, a few reasons why you should include zercher squats in your training program. TIP: If you start to go heavy, place a towel or jumper over your arms to stop the bar digging in when you hold it.
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