Many of you are familiar with the term leg day and implementing this day into your workout routines. Training your legs is important for overall growth, strength and keeping your physique in proportion with your upper body. These aspects are purely external and there are some internal factors that should be considered too, for instance, working your legs help improve your digestion system and strengthens muscles,joints and bones. If all that wasn't enough the body will also release endorphin's which help reduce pain and makes you feel amazing during your workout and after it. How many times after a workout have you felt great and almost as if you are feeling on top of the world and nothing can harm you?? This is why it is never a good idea to skip leg day :)
In my opinion a leg day isn't complete without including a squat of some form and for many of you a front squat or back squat is an optimal choice. Granted, at the time it doesn't feel like these are the right choices for you to make both of these exercises are somewhat painful and extremely taxing. However, they are performed because we know how beneficial a squat is just from having read the above paragraph. Squats work the whole of the body but what if you were to perform a squat which also meant working your arms, shoulders and possibly more of your core? Welcome the Zercher Squat and here it is in more depth....
A great variation to your normal squat routine is to add this beauty into it and begin a whole new chapter of squatting! The zercher squat still puts an emphasis on the quadriceps, hamstring and bum muscles but it will also incorporate the arm muscles and engage more of the core because of where the bar is balanced.
Why This Might Be For You
Another great reason to perform the zercher squat is because it places minimal pressure on the shoulder, wrist or hips whilst in the movement. So if you have a shoulder problem at the moment from perhaps too much benching and don't want to neglect squatting, this move is for you!! This exercise targets the abs too in a better way when compared to ordinary ab crunches!
To perform this exercise take on these points and remember to be cautious the first few times just so you get the technique sound! Once you feel comfortable, add the weight on!!
1) - Keep your back straight and focus on keeping your core strong!
2) - Place the weight of the exercise into your heels keeping them firmly to the ground.
3) - Take hold of the bar with your arms bent and the bar in the crook of your elbows, stay strong here and lock the hands if comfortable.
4) - Squat until the bar touches your knees, pause and drive up through the movement.
5) - Aim for rep ranges you would normally perform and don't forget to embrace your core so that you protect your back.
This exercise is a great alternative which you can use to mix up your sessions. This is something I have used in my sessions and please don't be disheartened if you can't lift as much as you would normally do. I rate the Zercher and if you are after a leg workout with a good pump on the biceps too..... This is for you!! Don't forget your whey protein shake immediately after your workout so the body and muscles can begin rebuilding the muscles you have broken down! All the best, train hard and safe ;)