Barbell Zercher Squat


Utility: Basic or Auxiliary
Mechanics: Compound
Force: Push



From rack with barbell upper waist height position, forearms under bar and in front of bar with elbows shoulder width apart. Cross wrists and pull bar in, close against body. Lift barbell from rack. Step back with wide stance, feet pointing out 20-30°.


Squat down by bending hips back while allowing knees to bend forward, keeping back straight, hands close to body, and knees pointed same direction as feet. Descend until thighs are near parallel. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat.


Turning knuckles up places bar more on Brachioradialis rather than more sensitive crook of elbow. Keep head facing forward, back straight and feet flat on floor; equal distribution of weight through forefoot and heel. Knees should point same direction as feet throughout movement. Also see rear side view.

Zercher Squat was created by Ed Zercher, a strongman from 1930s. This style of squat removes axial loading and instead, places load in front of body, allowing more upright torso position.

Louie Simmons commits on the benefits of Zercher Squats:

"It teaches you exactly how to squat. It teaches you to push your knees apart. Push your chest up. Push your buttocks out. The whole nine yards."

The Zercher Squat also has carryover to activities of first responders, laborers, and strongman movements: (1) Atlas Stone Event, (2) Africa Stone Carry, and (3) Yoke Carry.




Dynamic Stabilizers


Antagonist Stabilizers

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