How To Do Zercher Squat

Zercher Squat Exercise

Zercher squat is a compound exercise that will hit your quads, hamstrings, as well as your glutes and is a great alternative for those who struggle with the standard back squat.

Rather than holding the barbell across the back while doing this exercise, you’ll be holding it in front of the body.

As such, you will find that you’ll feel the exercise more in the front of the quads compared to the hamstrings.

It’s great for doing as an alternative to squats when you need a change of pace.

Zercher Squats How To

  • Position a barbell in front of the body, standing upright just behind it.
  • Squat down and scoop the barbell under the arms so that it’s resting directly above the elbows between the forearm and the biceps.  The palms should be raised towards the ceiling, touching each other directly in front of the body. The elbows will be flared out slightly, but still touching the sides of the body.
  • Once in position, drive straight up into a standing position.  Catch your breath and make sure your core is tight.
  • Keeping the bar tucked tightly into the body, slowly bend the knees as you lower yourself down into the squat position.
  • Go down as low as you can go, pause and then press back up to complete the rep.
  • Once all reps are completed, lower down and place the barbell back onto the floor to finish the set.

Form and Technique

While doing this movement, it’s important that you keep your knees over the toes at all times to avoid suffering from knee pain.

In addition to that, start with a lighter weight to test your comfort level.

You won’t be able to lift as heavy of weight with this exercise as you would conventional squats as you will be somewhat limited by the strength of your upper body.

Variations:   Front Squat, Back Squat

Routine for Strength:  3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Gains:  4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

Zercher Squat