Coaches often talk about the importance of the eccentric part of a lift, but the concentric part doesn’t get as much attention even though it’s where many athletes fail. For squats, one way to overcome common sticking points and train the upper part of the lift is to do
anderson squatswith which you will increase strength and strengthen the core.
This type of squat is performed from the
bottom position with the bar at a dead center. It can help you improve your blocking and address weaknesses in your technique. Depending on the height you start from, you can also overload the movement to build more confidence when squatting heavier weights.
The Anderson squat can be difficult to perform, starting at a point where many lifters are weakest. But if you’re having trouble with your squat, the Anderson can be a good variation to add to your routine to help you
overcome mental blocks and the errors of your technique. Of course, it is for advanced athletes in the art of lifting weights.
What is the Anderson squat?
This variation was created by Joe Anderson, a legendary powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, and Strongman competitor, and is performed from the bottom position with the bar in a deadlock. Sometimes also called squat
bottom up because you start from the bottom of a squat.
It is performed by doing a squat from a standstill, usually at a point
just above parallel, with the bar resting on the safety pins in a “power cage” or squat rack. However, you can also start from below the parallel.
Starting a squat from the bottom position allows you to work on the
concentric or upward part of the lift, which is generally not prioritized since many other squat variations focus on the eccentric or downward portion of the movement. For this reason, the Anderson squat is an excellent squat variation for lifters whose sticking point in the squat is right at or above parallel.
Often you can also
lift superlative weights with the Anderson squat, making it an effective tool to help lifters become more confident with heavier loads. Additionally, the Anderson squat can also be done with front squat or overhead squat variations, which can be beneficial for CrossFitters.
How to do the Anderson squat
The first thing is
attach safety pins to a squat rack on a squat rack at the height you would like to start the movement. You can start below parallel if you want to improve your power coming off or above parallel if you want to work on your block. Place the bar on the pins and load the weight.
You should perform the Anderson squat the same way you would perform
a regular squatWhether you squat high bar or low bar, use a wide or narrow stance, or have a wide or narrow grip width. Squeeze your shoulder blades and strengthen your core. Without rocking too far forward or back and using momentum to raise the bar or going up on your toes, lift the weight of the barbells until your knees are almost fully extended.
Once the blocking is over,
pause and then begin to slowly descend. You want to maintain tension throughout your core and upper body and avoid hitting the bar against the pins. You should not allow the bar to bounce before starting a new repetition. Let it come to a complete stop, restart if necessary, then continue with your next repetition.
Benefits of the Anderson Squat
When you do Anderson squats from a starting point above parallel,
you can use big weights. This can help your body get used to the feeling of having a heavier weight on your back and increase your confidence for the next time you try a new weight.
Because the Anderson squat requires you to squat from a standstill, you can’t rely on that stretch reflex to lift the weight back up. Instead, you have to
generate strength from your own body to get out of the hole. This will help you develop more power and strength in the squat rather than relying on momentum to get up.
Another common reason you may fail in the mid-squat is that you’re not generating enough speed to get out of the hole, especially when you stop trying to rely as much on the stretch reflex. The Anderson squat can help you
develop more power from the bottom of the squat so that you can generate enough force to get through a difficult part of the movement.