Tip: The Cronus Squat

Ditch the power rack and try this functional, full-body squat instead.


It's time to ditch the squat rack. If you want strength and size gains, picking stuff up from the floor is the way to go. You'll develop bigger lats, arms, abs, glutes, and legs in the process.

That's what the Cronus squat – named after the king of the Titans – is all about. Think of a Zercher squat meeting a stone load meeting a front squat. It sounds crazy, but it's actually perfect for someone new to lifting.

Bonus: You'll be holding the bar in an underhand position, which exposes weaknesses and forces you into the correct positions.

The Cronus Squat

  1. Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hinge at the hips and grab the bar with an underhand grip. Wedge your elbows between your knees and pull the bar into your shins.
  3. Pull yourself back behind the bar, allowing your hips to lift. Use your lats and biceps to scoop up the bar towards your shoulders while sitting back and down.
  4. Spread the floor as if standing on a wrinkled rug you want to smooth out, and stand up.
  5. Maintain tension in the legs and keep the back tight while descending back down to the floor.
  6. Keeping your elbows tucked, lift your hips while lowering the bar to the floor.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps. Each week add a set until you get to 5 sets of 5. Do it 1-6 times per week depending on your program and experience level. I prefer a high frequency approach and do these six days a week.

Can you still do regular squats and deadlifts? Of course! These are great between squat sessions since you're not directly loading your spine. This makes recovery faster since you aren't taxing the nervous system as much. That means you can do it more frequently.