Let’s talk squats.
If you are tired of barbell, dumbbell or even hack and other machine squats, then we will give you a nice little exercise to help you bring diversity in your lower body training days.
We present to you – The belt squat!
This exercise is rarely seen, just like the kettlebell snatch.
And that is not only because it is done by a small number of people, but also because you won’t really see it all that much on the internet.
We do advise you to give this exercise a shot, as it has many benefits, due to the change of the center of gravity, as opposed to normal barbell squats or machine squats.
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What you need
- A weight belt
- Two medium-height boxes to step on
- Strap the waist belt around your waist
- Attach weights to the belt’s chain
- Place the boxes so far apart as to allow you to step with your feet at shoulder width
- Get up on the boxes and step with your feet at shoulder width and toes pointing out slightly
- Bend knees slightly and consider that your starting and ending position
- Keep your back straight, head looking forward and arms either elevated forward or in a comfortable position
- Let the weight hang between your legs, then squat down
- Avoid having the weights touch the ground, as that will take away from the constant tension
- Squat up and contract the quadriceps and optionally, the glutes up top
- Avoid having the knees lock out up top aggressively
An important note here would be the fact that the tension must be driven entirely through the heels, without letting them come up.
As opposed to normal squats, belt squats allow you to basically take off all of the tension from the lower back and place it upon the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.
Just like any other exercise, progressively overloading on this one, or in other words, increasing the weights and repetitions, will result in significant progress.
The normal barbell squat however, does engage more stabilizing muscle groups.
That means, that the belt squat is more oriented towards lower body development, as the core and spinal erectors are not as engaged.
If you are tired of the same old repetitive leg day routine or have problems with your lower back, try including this exercise and see how it works for yourself.
The belt squats are a perfect way to diversify your lower body days and granted, they will give you an insane pump, as more and different muscle fibers of the leg musculature are involved.
Even if you prefer to stick to regular squats, it is definitely worth it to at least give the belt squat a shot and ultimately, make it your best friend!
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