The benefits of pause squats

Pause squats include performing any variation of the squat with a pause for 2-3 seconds at the bottom of your squat.

The depth of the squat will be different for everyone, some people have the mobility to go below parallel (the thighs parallel to the floor) without sacrificing form. However others find this more difficult, and their end range of movement will be reaching parallel.

pause squatA recent story from Yahoo! Sports details the benefits of adding pause squats to your workout.

Below is an excerpt from the Yahoo! Sports story.

Usually the weight lifted is at a slight reduction in comparison to your normal sets. This is because the increased time under tension from the pause will also increase intensity. So aiming for 10%-20% weight reduction is suitable for pause squats.

Pause squats result in improved strength in the ‘hole’ of the squat – this means the bottom of the squat. Many lifters find this portion of the lift the hardest, due to the change from eccentric to concentric (lengthening the muscle to contracting the muscle). This can often result in lifters failing their rep at the bottom of the squat. By pausing in the most difficult part, with a slightly lower weight, you are gaining strength there and are more likely to progress.

People hit plateaus with their squats for a variety of reasons. However, when the plateau is caused by poor lifting mechanics and a lack of strength, the pause squat can help iron these out by building strength and control in the most challenging portion of the movement, allowing us to make use of the full range of movement again and then increase weights.

To read the full story from Yahoo! Sports, click here.