Should you pause at the bottom of a squat?
It has been debated that pausing during a squat has more benefits than just doing a regular squat. The athlete squats down, holds this position for a certain length of time and then explodes out of it. You can even do this in any type of squat, including those with barbells. Here are some examples of how they can benefit you:
They increase power
Pausing during a squat can reduce the pressure on your lower back. Then the legs would have to work harder as you push yourself back up again. The pause gives your legs more time under pressure, and involves more muscles in your exercise to stabilise your body. Performing pause squats more often will build the strength in your lower back, as well as your hips and abs, and will give you more strength to complete other exercises.
They can help with other lifts you do
Squatting with a barbell can be very uncomfortable and you can feel you’re being weighed down, and find it difficult to stand up again. Pausing helps you to hold your position. You will start to feel more comfortable exploding out of this position, when moving on to greater weights as a result.
They can be trained and honed
You can also change and improve your results by using heavier weights, different equipment and footwear, and doing more reps and sets. Pausing can help you to lift better, and is great for enhancing your technique.
They enhance sporting performances and everyday movement
Pausing during squats can make you more explosive in many other sports, due to the fact that they train your strength. They can even help with other movements we make every day, such as picking up things or standing up from a chair. Doing this exercise correctly and safely will vastly improve the way you move outside of sport.
Try this session and see how it can enhance your strength:
Week 1: 3 sets of 5 reps with 50% effort. Pause for 7 seconds.
Week 2: 3 sets of 4 reps with 60% effort. Pause for 5 seconds.
Week 3: 3 sets of 3 reps with 70% effort. Pause for 3 seconds.