Date: June 1, 2017 | Author: Coach Rob

3 Tips To Use Your Upper Body When You Squat

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I have coached a lot of women to improve their squats.  One of the easiest ways to get a woman stronger on squats is to get her to use you upper body.

Most women have a lot of power in the legs, hips and glutes, but lack the power, strength and overall tightness in the upper body to match the power in their lower body.

By simply learning to get your upper body “tighter” your squat overall will be much stronger.
A good squat is not just a lower body exercise, it’s a full body exercise.

If you want a stronger squat learn to use your full body as one unit.

Here Are 3 Tips To Use Your Upper Body When You Squat


1. Change Your Bar Position From High Bar To Low Bar.

Most women squat high bar (most times way too high).  By going with a lower bar we go from high bar to low bar position which is generally stronger for most women.

High bar squats work your quads and core a lot more, but they will push your upper body forward.  By switching to a lower bar squat position the weight moves closer to the hips and mid thigh and towards the center of gravity in the body.

As well a low bar squat will allow you to use your upper body in your squat a lot more than a high bar squat.

Rebecca squatting 150 kg / 330 lbs in her first powerlifting comptition. Great 3rd attempt! #Squats, #womenwholiftweights , #Heavyweights

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READ  3 Benefits Of Low Bar Squats For Women

2. Pull Your Hands As Close To Your Upper Body That Is Comfortable For You.

It’s important squatting to have your hands as close to your shoulders as possible that is comfortable for you. 

The tighter you can get the hands the more upper back tension you can create along with creating a shelf for the bar.  Learning to get your upper back tight and creating a wedge with the bar will make your squat stronger immediately.

This is all part of the “set up”.  For every lift the set up is very important.  For a stronger squat set up read this article How To Set Up For A Strong Squat.

3. Breath & Brace.  Get Your Air & Turn Your Upper Body To Stone.

I coach a lot of my female athletes to focus hard on breathing and bracing.  A lot of women have the leg strength to squat a lot of weight, the limiting factor often is lack of core strength and keeping the upper body tight.  By bracing harder and getting her back tighter this increases upper body tension.

For a lot of women the easiest way to improve their squat is getting the upper body tighter.  Their legs can squat more weight but the upper body can’t support it.  By improving upper body tension your squat can improve fast.

A great way to learn to create upper body tension is planks, hard planks and weighted planks.  I highly recommend them.

Give these 3 tips a try and let me know how they help you.

Coach Rob

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