Tip: How to Zercher Squat

It's nasty and uncomfortable, but it'll make you bigger and stronger. Here's how to do it.

Benefits of the Zercher Squat

  1. The Zercher position increases the involvement of the whole upper back musculature: the traps, rhomboids, and rear delts. So in that regard, the Zercher squat can help solidify the back during the front squat and deadlift. If your weakness in the front squat is "losing" your upper back on the way up – your upper back rounds and the bar drops forward – then the Zercher squat will help you. If your barbell deadlift fails at knee level, the Zercher can help you there too.
  2. Zercher squats work your core harder than regular squats and deads. So if your weakness in the squat is your mid-section, the Zercher squat will be a formidable movement for you.
  3. The Zercher squat is the squat variation that allows you to go the deepest. Yes, even deeper than the front squat. That makes it a great movement to build the quads and glutes. But it's also a very solid assistance exercise to increase your strength out of the hole in the squat.
  4. Because of the capacity to go lower, this movement is especially effective for people with longer limbs.
  5. The Zercher squat requires an intense isometric action from the biceps to hold the barbell in place. So while it's not primarily a biceps-building exercise, it will contribute to making your guns bigger and stronger, especially if you use higher reps.
Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.