Squats! They’re a crucial component to leg day. Squatting is a truly powerful exercise, meaning it’s important we find ways to improve our performance. There are several squat accessory movements that can enhance your technique and promote improvement.
Accessory movements are designed to build muscle without straining the skeletal or nervous system as much as the primary movement, and they work to support the muscle groups used for specific movements. In this instance we’re focusing on the upper and lower back, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Box squats are a great squat accessory exercise! They’re ideal for those who struggle with the mid range of the squat. The use of a low box can improve confidence in squatting and will encourage a deeper squat over time.
Repetition is the key here! Lots of sets with ample rest time will be the most beneficial. Lunges are one of the best exercises for building quad strength, and they also work to improve ankle and knee stability. Remember, lunges are great for building muscles, not testing limits, so be sure to use a low weight when completing your sets.
Weighted Box Jumps
Weighted box jumps are ideal for rapidly recruiting muscle fibers and developing force. It’s important to turn your focus to your hips, and ensure you’re displacing them as high as possible, as opposed to just gaining height with your knees and feet. Ensure you’re landing softly on the box, no lower than a parallel squat.
Glute Ham Raises
This exercise is one of the most complete hamstring exercises you can do! The great thing about this squat accessory is that it not only hits your hammies, but it works your entire posterior chain, including the glutes and lower back. Glute ham raises take the pressure off your joints and work the right muscle groups for improving squat performance.
Incorporate this squat accessory work into your exercise plan and see results in no time. Feel stronger and more confident in your squatting ability!