There are many ways to improve your squat. Most of us know the basics: increase reps, load, frequency, and other traditional parameters. But there is an uncommon technique which works wonders - the breathing pause squat.


Because it is an advanced method, it is best to have your form nailed down before trying this squat. To perform a breathing pause squat, start with a weight you can handle easily. At the bottom, pause and inhale slowly for several seconds, then exhale. When you are under load, breathing like this destabilizes your spine. This is the desired effect, but it can be dangerous if your form is shaky.


In a squat, three things must happen:


  1. The knees must extend.
  2. The hips must extend.
  3. Force must be transferred from the legs to the bar.


This last one, force transfer, improves as your core muscles get stronger - something breathing pause squats are excellent at facilitating. 


You will strengthen your stabilizer muscles as well as improve control and squat depth - all without having to grind out set-after-set of squats. Incorporate breathing pause squats into your warm ups or workouts consistently and your squat will soar.


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