In this great feature we cover why pause squats are great for bigger gains are the way forward to increase your squat strength and technique…
Put simply, pausing at the bottom of your squat (back, front, overhead, etc.), stops you from relying on the stretch reflex generated from the bounce you get through a typical fluid movement in normal squats. The pause therefore increases the muscular tension and by relying on the explosiveness needed to get out of the hole, you’ll build bigger and better strength and technique.
How to Perform Pause Squats
Your technique in a normal squat will not change for pause squats until you get to the bottom position. You’ll want to get to a deep as possible squat while maintaining a good upright position. You’ll need to hold this bottom position for 2-4 seconds, allowing all elastic energy to dissipate and increasing your time under tension.
For pause squats, you’re not looking to do many reps. Keep the weights relatively heavy, whether through progressive sets or same weight sets, and only do 1-4 reps per set.
Additionally, pause squats can be done by adding or not adding a bounce from the bottom when ascending after pausing. When adding a bounce, just before you start to come out of the hole, you include a very shallow bounce to generate some elasticity to get out of the bottom. Obviously when you don’t add the bounce, you’ll effectively start to come out of the bottom to a standing position with no added movements and you’ll just a strict squat out of the bottom position. Adding the bounce helps, but if you’re looking to really increase strength, work on the stricter form more often.
Pause squats with a bounce
Pause squats without a bounce
Just like with other squat techniques, adding the pause squat to your arsenal is only going to benefit you. Keeping your squat training varied, through technique, frequency, tempo, reps, sets, etc., it all adds up and your body will start showing gains throughout all of them as a result.