Sandbag Zercher Squat
The Zercher Squat involves holding the sandbag on the back of your arms and descending into a Squat.
The load requires additional core strength as the weight pulls you forward, enhancing the benefits of the exercise.
- STEP 1: Start with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart with your feet flat and toes pointed slightly outwards from your body. Stand with your shoulders back, chess proud, and engage your core by flexing your glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals. Perform at Clean to get the sandbag into the Zercher hold position. Try to keep your forearms vertical as you flex your back and pull the sandbag apart, seeking to wrap it around your body (this will ensure that your back stays in a more solid position during the movement).
- STEP 2: Keeping your chest proud and shoulders back, begin pushing your hips behind your centerline (imagine there is a wall 6 inches behind you that you are trying to touch with your butt). Once your hips are behind your centerline, begin descending your hips directly towards the ground. Avoid knee misalignment issues (commonly called knee valgus or medial knee displacement) by spreading your knees apart as you descend. During this process, you’ll need to push your elbows forward to support the weight.
- STEP 3: Once you your upper legs are parallel with the ground, you will most likely need to change your descension angle to descend further. At this point, imagine there is a string running from your tailbone to a point directly in between your heels. Push your hips forward while descending along the imaginary string. If at any point your lumbar/lower back begins to flex, stop.
- STEP 4: Once you have reached the maximum depth that you can maintain with proper spinal alignment, begin pushing your body away from the ground into your heels. Follow the same path up that you descended with, always maintaining a proud chest with your shoulders tucked and back. Rise to a fully locked out position at the top of the rep, at which point the sandbag should be completely against your body again.
- Neutral Spine
- Feet rooted
- Keep the sandbag close
- Tight Core
- Try to pull the sandbag apart
Exercise Tips and Safety
Holding the sandbag in front of your will tempt you to fall forward. Seeking to wrap the sandbag around yourself by pulling it apart should help avoid the temptation.