Do your hips shoot up too early during the squat? Don't get this problem confused with a forward lean, which may be caused by long femurs or lack of ankle mobility. We're talking about the hips popping up, rising faster than shoulders when coming out of the hole.

This problem will take the activation out of the quads, and your back will be forced to finish the lift. And while a strong back equals strong (wo)man, you'll want to maximize the drive from the legs first. You need to prioritize quad activation. So here's what'll help you do that.

The Double Pause Squat

The double pause squat involves pausing at the bottom of the squat and then again halfway up at above parallel or around quarter-squat. The pause at the bottom ensures you're beginning the concentric (lifting) portion in an optimal position. The pause halfway up will force you to maintain a more upright posture. If you try to shoot your hips up early, when you hit that pause the weight will force your chest to cave and you'll end up on your face.

If you use the double pause squat for heavy days, try multiple sets of doubles and triples. On lighter days use them for technique work or warm-up sets. Start off pausing for a 2-second count at each spot and adjust as you see fit.

Related:  Speed Squats and Pause Squats

Related:  Build Your Sad Little Quads