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Thread: Zercher Squats

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    Registered User JamSumo's Avatar
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    Zercher Squats

    I started doing Zercher's and I feel that they work my entire body. My wrists hurt with a front squat, goblet squats drain my energy and back squats I cannot do because of a pinched neck nerve.

    Why do people feel the need to come up to me and correct me/give me advice that I need to clean the bar up with my wrists and do a front squat? People in the gym although they want to be helpful are actually telling me in a nice way that I am doing squats wrong.

    A simple search shows that Zercher's are a known exercise but overlooked. I wish the gym would put up a poster with a Zercher squat on it.

    Does anyone have this issue? Also, any opinions on the Zercher? I feel like I get a better leg and core workout than other squat movements by only doing 105 lbs, 30 lbs on each side on the big bar.

    Thank you in advance.
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    I've trained in various gyms for >15 years and done all sort of various exercises and it's very rare for anyone to come up to me to try to tell me I am doing something wrong, even when I do weirder movements. You must have an interesting crowd at your gym.

    Zercher squats are fine as long as you can make progress on them. Have you tried cross-armed front squats? Have you tried low and high bar back squats and do both bother your neck?
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    Originally Posted by JamSumo View Post
    I feel like I get a better leg and core workout than other squat movements by only doing 105 lbs, 30 lbs on each side on the big bar.
    What is your regular squat weight? Giving allowance for individual strengths and weaknesses, there shouldn't be a huge difference between that and your zercher weight.

    Honestly, I suspect you're setting up improperly for back squats, with the bar pressed against your neck.
    Last edited by TolerantLactose; 02-15-2020 at 01:40 PM.
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    OP, I’ve had curl bro’s say I’m using my safety squat bar backwards even though it isn’t. Some people like to sound like they know what they are talking about even when they don’t. Chances are, they have never seen a Zercher movement.
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    Originally Posted by JamSumo View Post
    goblet squats drain my energy
    ??????????
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    I’ve done zercher squats on and off the past couple years and find them a perfectly acceptable alternative to front squats. They hit quads pretty well and allow for consistent depth each time if you go until your elbows hit the inside of your knees.
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    Love em, great front loader for squats - you get some bicep benefits as well. Eventually the weight will increase to the point where it becomes painful, but you can always use a squat pad to alleviate that. Quite a worthwhile exercise.
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    Thanks for the replies. I get numbness in my back and neck when I do back squats. yea, the goblet squat with a 90 lbs dumbbell will drain me, I feel like I am using my shoulders as well and to push up is a killer. Also in a back squat, I cannot squat deep and get up without losing balance. The Zercher really helps me go deep.

    I go to Youfit where most gym members (in my city) are beginners and don't know better. There is a guy who hogs up the squat rack with high bicep curls, like curling a barbell up high so the curl has elbows upward, higher than chest so it turns into a shoulder workout? Don't know if this is an actual exercise, but ridiculous to hog the squat rack while I wait so I can Zercher squat.
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    I love the zercher squat/lift.
    I don't feel they are the best quad developer but a good overall strength movement.
    As you mention you get a good core hit from them as well as quads,glutes and hamstrings.
    If it works for you there is nothing wrong with doing them.
    As mentioned you could try the cross arm style front squat instead of the clean style front squats.
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    Do they have any benefit in terms of lower back safety?
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    Started doing Zercher squats a few months back, in all my time at the gym never seen them done but then again its rare to see anyone dont squatting, most doing traditional back squat. Goblet squats are OK but you cant really go so heavy.

    Back squat got up to 110kg 1RM before I moved onto Zerchers and currently my 1RM is 90kg but after this cycle likely to be closer to 100kg. Use a bar pad though for both those squats cos Im soft :P
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    Originally Posted by JamSumo View Post
    I started doing Zercher's and I feel that they work my entire body. My wrists hurt with a front squat, goblet squats drain my energy and back squats I cannot do because of a pinched neck nerve.

    Why do people feel the need to come up to me and correct me/give me advice that I need to clean the bar up with my wrists and do a front squat? People in the gym although they want to be helpful are actually telling me in a nice way that I am doing squats wrong.

    A simple search shows that Zercher's are a known exercise but overlooked. I wish the gym would put up a poster with a Zercher squat on it.

    Does anyone have this issue? Also, any opinions on the Zercher? I feel like I get a better leg and core workout than other squat movements by only doing 105 lbs, 30 lbs on each side on the big bar.

    Thank you in advance.
    Call me crazy, but I like to have my hands on the weights I'm lifting. Are there any long term studies regarding the joint health effects of squatting/deadlifting/doing loaded carries while having a barbell in the crook of the elbows? I think you would get equal or better results from front squatting with the heaviest dumbbells you can clean. If you can't clean enough weight to satisfy the legs, just slow down the eccentrics to 5 seconds and spend another 5 seconds in the stretched (but not collapsed) position while breathing.
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    You could also try zombie squats, barbell hack squats, hex bar squats, belt squats.
    I currently like these ones:
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    You could also try zombie squats, barbell hack squats, hex bar squats, belt squats.
    I currently like these ones:
    that's helluva setup
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