The Zercher Squat is probably one of the most misunderstood and underutilized exercises because it’s brutally hard, it hurts, results aren’t seen right away and no one else in the gym are doing them. Once you get past the pain, the Zercher Squat can transform your body tremendously.
The Zecher Squat mimics the Front Squat with a different bar position, lift angle and load, which eliminates common compression forces to the spine, encouraging the demand placed on the anterior posterior parts of the body. As the demands of the lift get higher, the entire core musculature, in addition to the supplementary limbs are impacted.
Sadly, the Zercher has only been limited to exercises such as the Squat, Carry, Good Morning and/or Hold. Surprisingly, there are additional Zercher variations that can be sprinkled into your program to apply the much-needed stress to maximize athletic performance.
Before we get to the advanced variations, here are some of the benefits:
- Activates the entire back musculature, which can aid your Front Squats and/or Deadlifts.
- Demands your core to work harder to successfully perform the lift.
- The depth is deeper than most lifts; the glutes and quads are activated on another level.
- The isometric action of holding the bar surpasses Barbell Curls; your biceps will become stronger and bigger.
- Builds hypertrophy.
- Improves hip mobility.
- Ensures proper stability through spinal manipulation.
- Demands you to be explosive.
- Demands increased stability.
- Breathing is at its highest.
These are advanced variations, so make sure you master the basic Zercher Hold and Squat before attempting these. The video above outlines some great Zercher variations that should be added to your toolbox:
- Use a squat rack with pins set up just below your elbow.
- Put the bar in the crease of your elbows.
- Keep elbows tight to your sides.
- Squeeze hands together or have palms facing the ceiling. Here is a trick: You can externally rotate your hands out, which activates the lats even more. Keeping the bar up on your chest will help you even more during the lifts.
- Get hips under the bar, make sure you breathe and explode the bar up from the rack.
- Set the bands respectively and secure.
- Perform each movement outlined in the video.
- Repeat each movement, I like to do 6×6 of each.
There have been complaints about the lack of Zercher variations and as of late there have been so good variations. Hopefully, these will curb your complaints and take your training to the next level.