Exercise of the Week: Top Half-Squat

June 22, 2012

The STACK Exercise of the Week will help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week, we highlight the Top Half-Squat, an exercise that improves lower-body power.

Who’s Doing It

  • Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams RB

Muscular Benefits

  • Increase lower-body strength and explosive power

Sports Performance Benefits

The Top Half-Squat is a variation of the Squat that focuses on creating explosive power from an athletic position. Holding the bottom position allows energy to be stored before it is fully transferred in the powerful upward phase. (The chains offer variable resistance throughout the movement to increase the challenge.) Perform this exercise to increase speed and overall power when running or tackling.

Top Half-Squat How-To

  • Adjust squat rack safety bars to slightly above navel
  • Assume athletic stance with bar on back and feet slightly wider than shoulder-width
  • Keeping back straight and knees behind toes, sink hips back and slowly lower into half-squat until bar rest on safety bars
  • Hold for two-second count at bottom; keep muscles engaged
  • Explosively extend hips and knees to drive up out of half-squat position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 4x2-3

Top Half-Squat Coaching Points

  • Perform warm-up set of lightweight squats for six to eight reps
  • Keep lower-body muscles engaged throughout exercise
  • Add chains for an additional challenge

Do you have an exercise that you want to see featured as an Exercise of the Week? Tweet us at @STACKMedia to let us know.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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