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Question: What are some tips to help increase my squat?
Answer: The answer to this question is not simple. There are so many variables to be considered, and they are best approached from a hands on perspective. Nonetheless, I will try to cover some of the major bases on this topic. The two most basic ways to increase the squat are to address the two components of any of the "power" lifts: strength and speed. If strength is the limiting factor the Russian front squat cycle is great for the off-season and the raw 5x5 squat program is great for the in-season. Both can be found on Brad Gillingham's web site: Jackal's Gym. If speed is the limiting factor, then implementing dynamic effort squats would help a lot. These are performed at 40-60% of the squat 1-RM with bands or chains attached to the bar. Reps are kept low (2 per set) and sets can be anywhere from 5-10. Be sure to use both free squats and box squats with this approach. The other variable to consider in improving the squat are "weak" areas such as the hips, core and technique. Implementing extra work in these areas in your program can go a long way to increasing the strength of your squat. The following are just some of the web sites that contain videos of movements to improve these areas: www.elitefts.com, www.westside-barbell.com, www.startingstrength.com.