The Zercher squat is a very effective and interesting squat alternative and the exercise is very unconventional which makes it a rare sight in most gyms. But don’t count it out just because it’s different. Now, the Zercher squat hits the quads, but it also targets the glutes, hamstrings, and calves since it’s a compound lower body movement.
But, this may not be the ideal movement for beginners so practicing with a very light resistance load should help you to progress as a beginner while you become accustomed to the Zercher squat.
Try this unconventional leg exercise for an effective and unique squat alternative.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Quadriceps
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Barbell, rack
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Set up a barbell on a rack so it’s level with your belly button.
- Now, use your elbow creases (Crease between your biceps and forearms) to grip the bar with both arms.
- Unrack the barbell and stand up straight with legs slightly wider than a shoulder-width distance apart.
- Grip one hand with the other and bring them up toward your face to secure the barbell.
- Then slowly squat down until your legs are about parallel while inhaling.
- Squat back up through your heels until your legs are almost locked out while exhaling.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- If you’re a beginner, avoid training with heavy weight which can be dangerous.
- Squat to about parallel unless you’re advanced to safely execute the exercise.
- If the barbell is causing discomfort, then either lighten the weight or readjust it on your arms.
- Go nice and slow during the reps to keep the weight balanced in your arms.
- The Zercher squat targets all of the leg muscles.