Are you stuck on a squatting plateau? Has that weight progression stalled no matter what you do and you want to know how to squat more weight ? Don’t worry – help has arrived …
Get ready to step up your squatting game and master those weights like a pro. I’m about to unleash a 12 best ways to increase your squat weight, which is used by the squatting masters to add extra plates to the bar and smash your PR, its not all about your leg muscles!
1. Master your Squat Form
Perfecting your squat form is the key to lifting more weight and getting the best results from your strength training. Here are 5 reasons to focus on form first:
5 benefits of correct Squat Form
1. Energy efficiency
With proper squat technique, you can focus all of your energy on lifting the weight instead of squandering it on extra motions or compensatory actions. Precision in rep execution will boost muscle recruitment and force production, resulting in more effective lifts.
2. Injury prevention
Using proper form during squats may shield your body from unneeded strain and reduce the risk of injuries that could sideline you. The weight is uniformly distributed by the muscles and joints when they are properly aligned, which lessens stress on delicate structures like the knees, lower back, and hips.
3. Optimal muscle recruitment
The target muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core, are optimally engaged throughout the exercise when using proper form. You may be able to lift more weight and encourage more muscular growth by engaging the right muscles the right way.
4. Better stability and balance
Proper form improves stability and balance when carrying heavy loads. You’ll be in perfect control of the exercise and less likely to topple over or tumble if you keep a solid base and a balanced body position during the squat.
5. Greater confidence
Mastering proper squat form gives you more heavy-lifting assurance. When you are confident in your ability to perform each rep precisely, you have the mental fortitude to push your limitations and attempt higher weights. This will ultimately result in stronger strength improvements.
Best Way to achieve Proper Squat Form
- Standing position: Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, toes pointing outward.
- Bar Placement: Place the barbell so that it rests on the trapezius muscles should be done.
- Grip: Use a comfortable grip that is a little wider than shoulder width to hold the barbell.
- Setup: Tighten your abs, keep your lower back naturally arched, and keep your chest raised.
- Descent: To begin the squat, thrust your hips back and bend your knees while keeping your spine neutral.
- Squat Depth: Squat down until your knees and hips are parallel or just below parallel. A deeper squat is better.
- Ascent: press through your heels to generate push power through the quads and glutes.
- Breathing: Take a deep breath before lowering yourself and let it out as you push yourself back up, keeping your abs tight the entire time.
- Vertical Path: Maintain a vertical path with the barbell as it passes over your midfoot.
- Full Extension: At the top of the movement, fully extend your hips and knees without hyperextending your back.
2. Build Lower Body Strength
Strong glutes help maintain hip stability and are essential for avoiding injuries and creating the best movement patterns. The risk of knee and lower back injuries during squats is decreased by improving hip stability by strengthening the glutes with exercises like lateral band walks and clamshells.
Strengthening the hamstrings and lower back will also improve your squatting power. You should be doing lower body exercise to build size and strength of these muscle groups. Here are 5 you can do.
5 lower body exercises to build strength:
- Hip Thrust
- Glute Kickback
- Leg Curls
- Leg Extensions
- Romanian Deadlift
3 Unleash Your Mental Strength
A strong mindset is just as important to squat heavy weight as physical power. To push your limitations and reach new heights in squatting, you need to work through mental hurdles such as self-doubt, fear of failure, and skepticism in your abilities. Here are 8 proven tips and tricks to help you win the mind game:
8 Proven Tips to improve your mental strength
1. Trust yourself
Believing in yourself and your training is the first step in developing confidence in your skills. Consider previous successes and advancements to increase your confidence in your squatting skills.
2. Embrace the suck
Squatting large weights is no easy task; accept the challenge rather than viewing it as a difficult obstacle or a dark cloud in your day. Accept the discomfort and see it as a chance for development and advancement.
3. Use positive affirmations in place of negative ones
During challenging sets, motivate yourself by reminding yourself of your fortitude and tenacity. Conditioning your mind is similar to conditioning your body. Use mental conditioning techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and visualization to improve focus and mental toughness.
4. Control adrenaline
During difficult lifts, adrenaline can shift the game by giving you extra energy and attention. Intense squatting sessions can help you perform at your best if you can learn to control this adrenaline rush. Deep, controlled breathing assists in regulating heart rate and avoiding excessive adrenaline spikes. Practice rhythmic breathing during warm-up sets to prepare your body and mind.
5. Visualize Success
Imagine yourself successfully accomplishing a difficult lift before you actually try it. This mental practice prepares Your body and mind for the work at hand.
6. Create a New Reality
Convince yourself that someone you love has been kidnapped and will die unless you hit your rep count. It’s pretty brutal but it works!
7. Accept Your Nerves
Being anxious before a big lift is normal. Accept your anxiety and see it as exhilaration rather than fear.
8. Trust Your Education
Have faith in your preparation and training. Have faith that your diligence has equipped you for this occasion and that you are prepared to overcome the weight.
4. Leverage Nutrition
The body needs the right fuel to stimulate muscular growth and strength enhancement from the squat. That fuel comes from proper nutrition. The building block of muscle growth and repair is protein. It provides the amino acids the muscles need to heal and rebuild after a squat workout. You can supply those needs by Incorporating lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and plant-based options as high-quality protein sources in your diet.
Energy for squats is primarily derived from carbohydrates. Choose complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for continuous energy during your workouts.
Good fats are crucial for maintaining a healthy body and producing hormones. They can improve the efficiency of squats by promoting joint health and reducing inflammation. Good sources of healthy fats are olive oil, seeds, nuts, and avocado.
Eat a well-balanced meal with protein and carbohydrates one to two hours prior to your workout to fuel your squatting sessions. This will provide the amino acids and energy required for peak performance.
About half an hour before the workout, have an easily digestible snack like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter. I also recommend a pre-workout about 15 minutes before you hit the gym floor (more on this in Strategy #6).
Don’t overlook the importance of hydration for squatting success. Sip on water during the workout. Adding some electrolytes to your water bottle is also a good idea.
5. Utilize Recovery Techniques
The need for rest and recuperation during strength training, including squatting, is sometimes overlooked. During recovery, your body repairs and rebuilds muscular tissues, resulting in greater strength and performance. Lack of appropriate recuperation might result in overtraining, exhaustion, and even injury, which will make it harder for you to succeed at squatting.
5 recovery techniques to consider
1. Prioritize sleep
Ensure you are receiving adequate sleep and giving your body enough time to rest between strenuous squat workouts. Aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep each night to assist muscle growth and repair.
2. Foam rolling
Foam rolling can be used to address tight and painful muscles in your post-workout regimen. It can also facilitate a faster recovery by reducing muscular tension and improving blood flow.
3. Active recovery
On rest days, use low-intensity exercises like walking, cycling, or yoga to stimulate blood flow and assist in muscle recovery without placing undue strain on the body.
4. Contrast baths
Alternating immersion in hot and cold water can lessen muscular aches and inflammation, accelerating healing and improving squat performance.
5. Active Release Techniques (ART)
This is a soft tissue mobilization method administered by qualified experts. ART can assist in releasing muscular adhesions and knots, increase flexibility, and reduce muscle tension, enhancing your squat strength.
6. Smart Supplementation
There are two supplements you should focus on to improve your squat strength:
If you’re serious about upping your squat, you need to be supplementing with creatine. During brief, intense exercises like squatting, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) provides the energy to power movement. Creatine helps restock the muscles’ ATP reserves. Your muscles can exert more force because of the increased ATP availability, which results in a stronger and more powerful squat.
I recommend taking 5 grams of creatine monohydrate powder every day, including your non-training days.
The purpose of pre-workout vitamins is to increase motivation, concentration, and performance during exercise. Common ingredients include caffeine, beta-alanine, and citrulline malate. Caffeine can boost alertness, focus, and general exercise performance. You may gain the mental edge necessary to focus with unwavering focus during challenging squatting exercises. Beta-alanine can help reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in the body, preventing the onset of muscle tiredness and enabling you to complete more reps.
7. Fine-Tuning Your Squatting Mobility
Squats must be performed with good form and depth, and mobility can greatly impact your progress. Your flexibility, joint range of motion, and overall squat performance can all be improved by including specific mobility exercises into your routine.
Improve your hip mobility by using exercises like hip circles, leg swings, and hip flexor stretches. Increased hip mobility can achieve Better depth and stability during squats.
Work on ankle dorsiflexion by performing calf stretches and ankle circles to increase ankle mobility. You can maintain an erect posture and perform the full range of motion of the squat with enough ankle mobility.
8. Master Breathing and Bracing Techniques
Proper breathing strategies are essential for optimum squatting performance and to maintain stability during the activity, The proper breathing technique guarantees effective oxygen supply to the working muscles and aids in core stabilization.
3 step breakdown
- Squat preparation: Inhale deeply into your diaphragm before beginning the squat, stretching your belly and ribs.
- Descent: Don’t hold your breath as you descend into the squat; instead, keep your breath in your abdomen. Early breath release or exhalation might affect core stability.
- Ascent: As you push yourself back up, maintain your breath in your abdomen and only let it out when you are in the highest position possible for the squat.
When performing heavy squats, core bracing entails clenching the lower back and abdomen muscles to generate a strong, supportive core. This method raises intra-abdominal pressure, giving a strong foundation for lifting larger loads.
To do it, squeeze your glutes and draw your belly button towards your spine to activate your core before the squat begins. Keep your core tight and stable during the entire squat. This guarantees adequate alignment and limits excessive spine movement.
By equally distributing the load throughout the torso, core bracing spares the spine from undue strain and lowers the risk of damage.
9. Track Your Workouts
Keeping track of your sessions is a key component of making squatting strength gains. Here’s how keeping track of your workouts might help you improve your squatting strength over time:
5 benefits of tracking your squat progress
- Progress tracking: You may easily keep track of your progress over time by keeping track of your squats workouts. Regularly analyzing your performance enables you to spot patterns, such as increases in the amount of weight lifted or the number of repetitions performed.
- Helps with goal setting: When you document your workouts, you may make it easier to set specific attainable goals. Tracking enables you to create reasonable goals that are in line with your training capabilities, such as increasing your one-rep max by five pounds or finishing an additional set.
- Program modifications: A workout journal offers insightful information on how well your training regimen is working. Use your recorded data to influence program adjustments, such as increasing volume or switching up exercise variations, especially if you see a plateau or lack of growth in your squatting strength.
- Accountability: Keeping a written record of your workouts helps you stay accountable. You become more dedicated to consistency and adherence to your training program with the knowledge that you are laying the groundwork for success when you track your workouts.
- Finding Trends and Patterns: Tracking enables you to spot trends in your performance, such as the exercises or rep ranges that produce the best outcomes. This information gives you the power to modify your workouts and concentrate on the most effective techniques for your body.
How to Monitor Your Squat Workouts:
- To keep track of your squats workouts, buy a diary or use an app on your phone. Date, exercise performed, sets, repetitions, and weight lifted should all be noted.
- Review your training logs frequently to see how your squatting strength has changed as a result of your progress. Keep track of any improvements or shifts in your performance.
- Write out your squat objectives for each training cycle. Keep these goals visible in your journal to stay motivated and focused during your workouts.
- Include comments about how the workout felt, any difficulties you encountered, and areas you want to improve in addition to the sets and reps. These insights can inform your choices for future training.
- Maintain Consistency. Even on low or deload days, make it a habit to document every set of squats. A thorough picture of your progress will be provided by consistency in documentation.
10. Wear a Weight Belt
A weightlifting belt can help you squat more weight, but only if you know how to use it properly. Here’s how a belt can benefit you:
3 benefits of using a weightlifting belt
- Increased intra-abdominal pressure: A weightlifting belt can increase intra-abdominal pressure when worn correctly. The stiff cylinder formed by tightening the belt around the core during heavy squats increases stability and supports the spine. You can apply more force to the barbell thanks to its better stability, which improves performance.
- Improved core bracing: The weightlifting belt acts as a tactile cue to correctly engage and brace the core. It serves as a reminder to inhale deeply into your gut and contract your abdominal muscles before beginning the squat. Squatting success is ultimately influenced by effective core bracing, which improves trunk stability and prevents excessive spinal bending during the lift.
- More confidence: Wearing a weightlifting belt can give you more confidence and mental clarity. You may feel more confident and comfortable while carrying greater loads as a result of the extra support and protection you feel. Better focus and concentration during the squat may result from the mental security provided by the belt.
4 tips for using a weight belt
It’s important to understand that a weightlifting belt should not replace strong core muscles and appropriate squatting form. Here are some things to consider before strapping on a weight belt:
- Learn correct technique: Prior to using a weightlifting belt, concentrate on building a solid foundation of squatting technique and core stability.
- Use the belt sparingly: save your hardest, most difficult squat sessions for them. Over reliance on the belt can impede the growth of one’s natural bracing and core strength.
- Don’t Give Up Mobility: A weightlifting belt shouldn’t limit your range of motion or keep you from squatting deeply enough. Make sure the belt does not interfere with your ability to squat properly and with the complete range of motion.
- Proper Fit: The weightlifting belt should be snug but not overly so around your waist. It should sit above the hips and the ribcage to support the core without limiting respiration.
11. Progressive Overload and Periodization
The two core training tenets of progressive overload and periodization are essential for enhancing squat strength. When intelligently put into practice, these guidelines can help lifters maintain progress and avoid plateaus. Let’s examine how periodization and progressive overload combine to improve squat strength:
Increasing the physical effort placed on the body over time when exercising is known as progressive overload. It involves gradually increasing the resistance, repetitions, or intensity to put more stress on the muscles, forcing them to adapt and get stronger. Progressive overload is essential to achieving steady improvement over time when working to increase squat strength.
How to perform squats with progressive overload
- Increase resistance: As you get better at the exercise, gradually increase the weight on the squat bar. Small increments, like 2.5 kg or 5 lbs, can be used to achieve this and sustain steady growth.
- Increase reps: Increase or decrease the amount of repetitions and sets during your squat exercises. To push your limits and promote muscle growth, you can up the amount of sets or reps as you get stronger.
- Introduce variations: To continually enhance your performance and push your muscles in new ways, use squat variations, including front squats, pause squats, and tempo squats.
Periodization is a planned method of breaking up training into several cycles or periods in order to maximize performance and avoid burnout. It involves segmenting the training year into timeframes with various volumes, intensities, and concentrations. Periodization enables lifters to focus on several facets of squat strength during the training cycle, including hypertrophy, strength, and power.
How to perform squats while periodising
- Base Phase: Begin with a base phase that concentrates on developing a strong base of squatting strength through workouts of moderate intensity and greater volume.
- Strength Phase: Advance to a phase of strength training where the emphasis is on using heavier weights with fewer repetitions to maximize strength gains.
- Power Phase: To increase power output and speed in the squat, incorporate a power phase that includes explosive movements like box jumps and speed squats.
- Deload Weeks or Phases: Include deload weeks or phases from time to time to allow your body to heal and adjust to the stress of training, lowering the danger of overtraining and injuries.
12: Strengthen the Core and Lower Back
The lower back and core muscles play a crucial role in transmitting force from the upper body to the lower body and stabilizing the spine during squats. Strong core and lower back improve squat mechanics and increase strength by providing a secure base, better spinal alignment, and effective power output.
During squats, a solid core acts as a pillar to keep the body in place and prevent movement. By stabilizing the spine and pelvis, it reduces injuries and guarantees efficient force transfer along the kinetic chain.
Bad posture can affect squat form and impede the growth of strength. Additionally, weak core and lower back muscles may be to blame. These muscles can be developed to increase torso uprightness and reduce lean forwards, enhancing squat mechanics.
A strong lower back and core provide the foundation for a squat, which requires a strong hip extension. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights with less effort if you strengthen these muscles since your lower body’s power will be more effectively transmitted to the barbell. Here are some effective core exercises and back workouts you can do.
5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back and Core for Squatting
- Russian Twists
- Good Mornings
- Back extensions
Squat strengthening mastery is a path that needs commitment, perseverance, and an unrelenting dedication to ongoing growth. Armed with out 12 proven strategies, confidently approach the squat rack, accept the pain, and savor the satisfaction of squatting big weights. You have the skills, knowledge, and resolve to succeed in your workout routine; now set and achieve your squat fitness goals!