Bottom Squat


The bottom, or bottom-up squat (sometimes called 'dead stop squat') is simply a squat performed starting from the lowest position. This is usually done in a power rack from pins that mean your thighs are horizontal.
How does this change things? It affects the squat in a couple of ways, which may or may not be appropriate for your training. Personally I love them. The differences :

Remember that the stretch reflex can be very useful at times. Bottom squats are great things, but not always appropriate. If you're training to be explosive from a dead stop (as in Olympic Lifting), they might be worth giving a go. On the other hand, if your chosen sport keeps you moving around the majority of the time, the usual varieties of top-down squats may be more beneficial. Personally, as I enjoy weight training purely for fun, I employ both bottom-up and top-down methods. It's up to you.

More information, references and other fun things to try
The picture is from Bud Jeffries' 1,000lb bottom squat. His challenge for anyone to duplicate this is ongoing.

This thread on the Go Heavy forums put me onto an article in Powerlifting USA, by Kenny Croxdale and Tom Morris. Excellent reading.

If you've stopped doing pistol squats because they're no longer challenging enough, try these. John Davies has found a way to eliminate the stretch reflex in the basic pistol, and turned it into an unholy beast.


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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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