The Zercher Squat is a challenging movement that targets almost the entire body.
Keeping the bar stable across the nook in your elbows taxes the upper back, core, and arms — not to mention overloading your legs too.
Despite the numerous benefits of the Zercher Squat, you will rarely see it done at a commercial gym.
Why? Because it’s uncomfortable.
Plus not many people may see the immediate benefit of employing such a movement.
The Zercher Squat is a Brutal all-round movement
As we have already mentioned, the Zercher Squat targets most of the body.
Although it is most commonly used during lower body days, your core, upper back, and arms will be screaming after a decent set.
This exercise will annihilate your legs — in a good way — and enable you to potentially squat deeper than before.
Try doing the Zercher Squat for 3 sets of 5 reps. Anything more will begin to get tiring fast — and you don’t want your form to break down
It is the ultimate functional exercise
We sometimes criticize “functional” training as better results can be achieved through barbell training alone.
However, if we were to observe the movement of the Zercher Squat, we would be able to see how closely it resembles pattern movements that involve picking things up off the floor.
The use of the arm positioning also mimics functional movements such as keeping an item close to your body for an efficient lift.
It teaches proper squat form
Many new lifters struggle to hit depth on the squat through either a lack of mobility or inexperience in such a movement.
Unless you have the flexibility of a brick, the Zercher Squat can aid tremendously in helping you hit correct depth.
You can use the Zercher Squat as a tool to engrain correct motor patterns in your Squat until your squat form improves.
It Decreases Spinal Loading
The traditional squat can be unkind to your lower back and it is advisable that you practice some form of spinal decompression work after a heavy workout.
The tradicional squats bar placement can put undue pressure on your lower back and render it subject to rounding or buttwink.
The lower forward positioning of the bar during the Zercher Squat makes it harder for the lower back to round as completing the movement would become difficult.
Moreover, the working loads you would be able to handle would be lower than on the back squat.
The lower forward positioning also places less stress on the lumbar spine as much of the load is transferred to the upper back.
Your Squat and Deadlift may improve
The Zercher Squat may help improve your main squat and deadlift.
As this squat variation reinforces good form as well as trains your legs hard, your squat may improve through clever programming.
For your deadlift, as your upper back, core, and posterior chain are hit hard, many of the muscles used in the deadlift are also trained hard throughout the movement.
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