The PAUSE SQUAT.
The Ultimate Exercise to help you blast past your squat plateau.
Lets be honest, very few people in the world actually enjoy the bottom of a barbell squat.
It’s the portion of the exercise where you probably feel the most uncomfortable. And if you fail or dump the weight, it usually happens when you’re in the hole. In the hole refers to the bottom of the squat.
During a pause squat there is no bouncing or using momentum to help you, a pause squat requires you to come to a full, extended stop at the lowest part of the rep. Now by no means is this impossible, however it is extremely difficult. What ever your 1-rep max is, you might want to reconsider it when performing pause squats.
Here are the main benefits of performing pause squats:
1. You strengthen the weakest portion of your squat.
2. You gain more confidence and learn to become more comfortable at the bottom portion of the squat “in the hole.”
3. You increase your muscles’ Time Under Tension (TUT), which plays a major role with increased mass. In short: more TUT = bigger muscles.
Generally speaking, a 1- to 3-second pause is a realistic and sufficient goal.
It should also be noted that when performing pause squats it is important to maintain tension at the bottom of the squat. Do not rely on your passive restraints—ligaments and tendons—to do the work for you. The bottom of the squat should not be seen as a resting point.