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4 Exercises for a Big Squat

Good things come to those who squat.

A heavy back squat takes a long time to develop.

It’s a full body exercise which means you can’t really have any weak points.

Strong legs, back and core are all essential.

Here are my top 4 exercises to help build a monumental squat.


1) Rear foot elevated split squat

JD Fitness – Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

The split squat will strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes and provide DOMS for days.  If you get a full range of motion you’ll be building some great mobility throughout your hips meaning it’s a great exercise for injury prevention.

I recommend going heavy with these – 4 sets of 6 – 8 reps.


2)  Lat Pull Down

JD Fitness – Lat Pull Down (1)

During a back squat the bar will be lying across your shoulders.  If you’re not setting a good, strong ‘shelf’ for the bar to rest on you’ll struggle to squat a significant weight.  To set a shelf for the bar to rest on you need to learn to flex your lats.  The lat pull down replicates this movement exactly.

Loads of volume with pull downs – try 5 sets of 10 reps.


3)  Swiss Ball Leg Curls

JD Fitness – Swiss Ball Leg Curls

Strong hamstrings are essential for a good back squat – weak hamstrings will mean you’ll be getting thrown forward by the weight.

Try 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps at the end of your workout.


4)  Paused Squat

JD Fitness – Back Squat Pause

Pausing at the bottom the squat will force you to stay in a good position.  The bottom of the squat tends to be the weakest portion of the movement – spending more time in this position will help you to learn how to be strong and stable on the way out of the bottom.

Try 3 sets of 6 – 8 reps