As a CrossFit athlete, there are several variations you can apply to a traditional squat to enable you to enhance your power, efficiency, as well as technique and translate to better numbers both in and out of the gym. You can decide to go box squats, chains, and bands and lots of other options. Pause squat is a straightforward, but very effective CrossFit training technique.It confers on you several benefits at times superior to the regular squats. When performing a pause squat, you come to a complete stop right at the bottom of the movement and hold that position for as long as is dictated and after that explode out of the hole. When holding the pause, you are required to remain tight in the hole, an instance that requires both concentration and practice. The Benefits of Pause Squatting There are lots of benefits that you can reap from pause squatting. These benefits will go a long way into building your athletic career. Among the benefits include: Building Horsepower When you stop the squat at the bottom, you effectively reduce the stress levels mounted on your lower back. However, this position causes your legs to work extra hard so as to push back into the starting position. A pause puts your legs under tension for a longer duration of time and enhances muscle toning. The more you perform these squats, the more your brain and body get familiar with the recruitment of slow twitch muscle fibers and building of strength for the supporting muscles of the lower back, abs, and hips. Assisting in Other Lifts In Olympic weightlifting, you are required to drop lower so as to get yourself to the bar quicker as the weight becomes heavier. To a beginner, this can be very uncomfortable, and at times you may feel pinned by the weight to an extent you cannot get up.Pause squats enable you to hold a deep position for few seconds. As you increase your pause squatting weight, you will feel relatively more comfortable when driving out of the hole during your Olympic lifts. Your deadlift numbers will go up as well because pause squats enable you to smoothly drive upwards from a bent knee position. Enhancing Your Athletic Performance There are different types of sports which require that you explode from a bent knee position. Talk of basketball players, football players, sprinters, and the rest, all these require that explosion. Pause squats train you so that you can develop the ability and strength to come out of the hole.When you get better at pause squatting, your explosive abilities irrespective of your sport will greatly improve. Since the squat is one of the major core movements in your day-to-day life, becoming proficient in it will help you in executing different movements in your daily life outside the CrossFit gym. If you want to give pause squatting a try, then you can do a three-week variation. In week 1, you can do 3 sets of 5 reps using a 7-second pause, week 2, you can do 3 sets of 4 reps using a 50-second pause, and in week 3, you do 3 sets of 3 reps using 3-second pause.
In the CrossFit repertoire, the overhead squat is upheld as one of the most vexing movements. It puts to test your balance, flexibility, coordination, and strength. Because of this, many athletes avoid spending hours developing the tools they need for a stronger overhead squat. There is a wrong perception that as long as an athlete has a good deadlift or back squat form, there is nothing else to worry about. The truth is an overhead squat is much more important and can help you reap the most from your CrossFit workout of the day.Getting better at overhead squats has an overflow effect on the skills you develop and are transferred to other movements such as the snatch. If you are keen on developing your overhead squat, below are tips to start you off. Identify and Work on Your Mobility Deficiencies In order to progress and perform an overhead squat, you must first have a solid squat foundation. The overhead squat places huge demands regarding mobility and flexibility in the hips, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, and adductors. Chances are low that you are highly mobile in each of these areas. The task, therefore, is to sufficiently mobilize the muscle groups mentioned above so that you can become comfortable as you squat with a bar overhead. Develop Your Midline Stability In order to perform an overhead squat, you require a high degree of midline stability. Because this CrossFit workout movement involves holding a weighted bar overhead, you will also require a high amount of core stability. Much of the stability work in the overhead squat goes to the core which is predominantly the lower back. This means if you don’t have a stable midline, you may be vulnerable to hyperextending your lower back which may further result in unfavorable overhead position and injuries. Don’t Start with a PVC Pipe Instead Pick the Right Weight One of the difficulties associated with an overhead squat is in keeping the weighted bar over your base. When you use a PVC pipe, you can easily lock it out in all places some of which may be incorrect without realizing it. It is important for you to feel the bar so that you can develop the right position. A barbell or training bar can help you do this. Press into the Bar When doing the overhead squat, your focus should be on lifting and pushing the weight not just holding it. The body wants to move as a unit as you execute the dynamics of physics. This means as you descend, your muscle groups will relax and depress. The scapular group switches from elevation to depression while the upper traps switch to bigger balance with eccentric from concentric contraction. The last thing you want is for your muscles to be depressed and relaxed during this CrossFit exercise. Instead, they should be flexed so that they can form a solid support base for the overhead weight.As you descend into the bottom of your squat, do not rush out of it rather stabilize in the hole. Doing this reduces the chance of losing control of the bar path as you rise out of your squat.