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View Full Version : How to improve glute/hamstring strength in the squat...



dxiw
03-07-2008, 04:39 PM
So today I did some max effort work and my squat is my officially weakest lift. I'm benching 365+, deadlifting 420+, yet I can barely at max effort squat 350.

All of the problem for me is coming out of the hole. I did leg pressing for many years and got well over 1000+, but only started squatting for PL seriously in the last few months (I dropped leg presses completely). If I stay above parallel, I can easily handle 500+ pounds. It's just around parallel or below (when it's all glutes and hamstrings) that I have no power. I just sink like a rock.I've spent the last two months doing low-box squats which has helped me develop my hip drive and glutes, but they are still WAY behind.

What else can I do? I'm really frustrated about this stupid sticking point... I can do ass-to-ground squats all day (literally 15-20 rep sets) with 225.. but when I put real weight on, my glutes just give out immediately...like today when I hit 350 it took me like 5 seconds of painful struggle to get the bottom 2" and then the weight flew up like no problem

Also just to clarify I am squatting 100% raw - no knee wraps, squat briefs, suit anything...

justen caputo
03-07-2008, 05:12 PM
i used to have the same exact problem.speed box squats drove me right through it.have you ever tried a 2nd light/speed squat day i use a box just under legal depth for 8 sets of 2 at 60% of my 1rm with 2 minibands attached hope this helps you

fpr
03-07-2008, 09:23 PM
damn howd you get from a 275 bench to 360+ so fast??? share the secret!!!

azma
03-08-2008, 02:24 AM
improved technique and a better shirt, I'm guessing.

dxiw
03-08-2008, 10:57 AM
Yes and no.

I was new to shirted pressing so I spent a lot of time doing board presses and lockouts.

While the shirt obviously helped, I attribute the gain primarily to new training methods. My raw bench went from 265 to 315 in the same period of time with no change in technique (that first time I went to TPS I got 265 max raw, then started the shirt at 275). Just some ****ing hard work, strict diet and RESULTS. I'm looking to get 325 raw this week on Monday. I'll post updates.

Training wise, I stopped doing gay **** like flies and per cables and replaced them with heavy partial ROM movements like 1,2,3,4-board presses, rack lockouts, and negatives. Also started doing speed work (which I have not done for years). Also took my tricep training up a notch. My current weak point is shoulders and grip, I've started doing log presses. I'm expecting a 330+ raw this month.

But, yea, blame it on the shirt - after all it does provide magical powers.

In others news, I pulled my first 2xBW deadlift in years yesterday. 422lb conventional.

Anyways, back to the original topic, I'm actually going to take a break from squatting and focus more on deadlift. Shangers and I are planning to compete in the Mass State Deadlift Invitational on Apr 26. We just got the forms done today. I'm looking to pull 475 and he's looking for 525, all raw of course (maybe I should put on the magical bench shirt?? :rolleyes: ). Our training will revolve around some squat work, rack pulling, deadlifts and stones/tire. Maybe the new training will improve my squat too.

smokinHawk
03-08-2008, 11:30 AM
i have similar problems with the squat, i can manage to do 305x10 for 2 sets on a good day butt to the floor, but once i get above 365 i can only get singles and only manage to get a e 380 best, butt to the floor. i think its keeping everything tight, took me a long time just to work up to going to the floor with heavy weights, as my hams and glutes would give out a little over 300 lbs.
best thing to tell you is just keep at it, they will strengthen and try to get in the heavy sets after higher reps stuff.

RhodeHouse
03-08-2008, 01:41 PM
It's going to take more than 2 months to correct this problem. Be patient. Strength is a marathon. It could take years to correct this, or, it may never catch up. Just keep training. Don't change anything. As long as you're hitting glute and hamstring work 2x per week, you'll be fine.

Make sure you stretch and work on mobility so you can put your body in the perfect position to succeed. Try dropping into the hole, slower. Dive bombing can really screw up your tightness in the hole.

Be patient and keep on trucking.

joey54
03-08-2008, 01:52 PM
what hamstring exercises are you utilizing? What other quad exercises are you using besides regular squats? I did see you mention you are doing box squats(which are more for glute/ham/hip power), but are you doing fronts, zerchers, barbell hacks, etc at all?

and I posted this before checking your journal, which I will do too.

chris taylor
03-08-2008, 02:10 PM
dude I understand you are doing a deadlift meet but DO NOT stop squatting.

A guy named Ed Coan revolutionized my squat for me a few years back, He made me do pause squats 2 times a week. Important to note when doing them do not just drop into the hole loose and stop then round the weight up. A true pause sqt is done by arching all the way to the hole holding everything tight then popping it up. This simple exercise took me from a 700ish squatter to now 900+. They are imperative to my success..

CT

joey54
03-08-2008, 02:22 PM
just glanced over your journal man. I see you have been hitting sldl's and good mornings. The weights you are using are good, but relatively light if you want to squat heavy. DXIW, I know we had a little bit of a misunderstanding before, so in NO WAY am I ripping you for the weight you are using. Rather just commenting that once the weights in these exercises increase, I am sure your strength out of the hole with your squat will improve as well. As with before, you obviously know what you are doing and are doing the right things. Just keep pounding away and it will come. Imagine how much your bench is going to increase once you start squatting some serious weight man. Good luck.

dxiw
03-08-2008, 08:41 PM
I appreciate all of the advice guys. I will definitely keep squatting, probably off of a low-box and really focusing on slow, deep negatives and explosive positives. I will spend more of my volume doing more deadlift related work though - rack pulls, good mornings, atlas stones, etc.

Joey54, I appreciate the advice man. Seriously, no hard feeling about before - we're cool. I am definitely excited to see what new numbers I can hit...

dxiw
03-08-2008, 08:45 PM
It's going to take more than 2 months to correct this problem. Be patient. Strength is a marathon. It could take years to correct this, or, it may never catch up. Just keep training. Don't change anything. As long as you're hitting glute and hamstring work 2x per week, you'll be fine.

Make sure you stretch and work on mobility so you can put your body in the perfect position to succeed. Try dropping into the hole, slower. Dive bombing can really screw up your tightness in the hole.

Be patient and keep on trucking.

I will definitely work on this more. I tend to drop in super fast thinking somehow the momentum will help me (which I know is a HORRIBLE way of lifting) because I'm so pathetic in my glutes.

What do you think about doing half-squats (out of the hole, back in the hole)?

The other thing I was considering was switching all my squat training to ATG (kind of olympic style, but with a wider stance). Starting with a low weight and just doing ATG squats. That way when I get up to 350 ATG, my parallel should be even better. What about that idea?

Big_Byrd52
03-09-2008, 09:02 AM
You answered ur own question man. Just squat. ur not used to doing them. Squat to // or below, consistently, and ur squat AND deadlift will go up. But, u have already decided to stop squatting the day after u post a thread about how to improve it? the squat is going to help ur DL FAR more than ur DL is gonna help ur squat.

dxiw
03-09-2008, 09:07 AM
u have already decided to stop squatting the day after u post a thread about how to improve it?

Did you read the post immediately before yours? I'm obviously not going to stop squatting, I'm just going to reduce the volume so I can do other things like heavy rack pulls without overtraining. I will also focus exclusively on ATG / Low-box squats.

Sensei
03-09-2008, 08:39 PM
dude I understand you are doing a deadlift meet but DO NOT stop squatting.

A guy named Ed Coan revolutionized my squat for me a few years back, He made me do pause squats 2 times a week. Important to note when doing them do not just drop into the hole loose and stop then round the weight up. A true pause sqt is done by arching all the way to the hole holding everything tight then popping it up. This simple exercise took me from a 700ish squatter to now 900+. They are imperative to my success..

CT
Dxiw,
You never responded to this advice... Pay careful attention to it. A lot of newbies think that DL work is somehow going to help their squat - it's not. There is a lot more carry over SQ -> DL than vice-versa for most. Keep squatting consistently and relatively heavy and you'll see improvement - it will come around, but it will take some time.

edit: btw, do you squat low-bar position?

dxiw
03-09-2008, 09:16 PM
not really, I keep the bar high up on my traps. I've tried low bar position but I can't seem to find the right place to put the bar and it just feels unstable..

Guido
03-10-2008, 10:34 AM
dude I understand you are doing a deadlift meet but DO NOT stop squatting.

A guy named Ed Coan revolutionized my squat for me a few years back, He made me do pause squats 2 times a week. Important to note when doing them do not just drop into the hole loose and stop then round the weight up. A true pause sqt is done by arching all the way to the hole holding everything tight then popping it up. This simple exercise took me from a 700ish squatter to now 900+. They are imperative to my success..

CTI second the pause squats! You need to do these all ATG, and beleive me your ass will grow and your strength out of the hole will improve dramatically. Also, I don't know how low of a box you are using on the box squats, but I would go a few inches below parallel to bring that up.

I also agree not to stop squatting. DL will not help your squats, but as your squats go up, so will your DL.

bill
03-10-2008, 07:20 PM
Chris Taylor, could you give some insight about the pause squats. Have you found a best method wt, reps, sets etc
I did some today my heavy sets where about 100pds less than max and felt good.

also curious about the volume of twice week.

Guido
03-11-2008, 07:23 AM
Personally, I'm trying to get my squatting strength base back up post-injury, and I've been doing ATF pause squats at about 70-75% of my theoretical max for sets of 6-8 reps. I'm thinking you could probably do anywhere from 60-80% of your projected 1RM for sets of 3-5 for multiple sets, focusing on getting a good drive off the bottom and good speed while keeping good form. Start at the lower end of that % range and add 10lbs each week for several weeks, then back off for a week. That should help your squat immensely out of the hole.