A Strength Coach Shares His Top Tips For Maximising Leg Gains (Even If You Can’t Squat) - Men's Health Magazine Australia

A Strength Coach Shares His Top Tips For Maximising Leg Gains (Even If You Can’t Squat)

Turns out you can still maximise your leg strength gains without having to do a heavy back squat, just take this strength coach’s advice.

It’s natural when we’re in the gym to want to be an expert in every move, but especially in key compound lifts like the barbell back squat. But as Olympian, powerlifter and pentathlete Dan John explains in a recent Instagram video, it’s OK if you’re not.

“A lot of us just aren’t good at squats,” he says. “I’m sure some powerlifter is rolling their eyes right now and they’re going to say I’m terrible, but the truth is some people don’t squat well.”

“It’s OK to not be perfect in certain lifts,” he continues.

“I think it’s important to do the movement of squatting, the load isn’t as important… When in doubt, do the movement of squatting, and don’t worry so much about the load.”

dan john

John elaborates on this in the caption, recalling his own experience as an Olympian, powerlifter, and pentathlete. “I’ve been a high level athlete for decades and I can tell you having a big squat never helped my performance like the power lifters promised,” he writes.

He goes on to say that aside from lifting lighter, it is also worth exploring alternatives to the back squat, including the goblet squat, a move which John himself invented and which you may well find more accessible than using a barbell.

In addition to the goblet squat, there are other squat variations out there that might be better-suited to your needs. For example, the safety bar squat helps you manage the weight while making your shoulders more comfortable, and the Bulgarian split squat is particularly useful in addressing muscle imbalances.

This article was first published on Men’s Health US.

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