The benefits of pause squats
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.A 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.