Zercher Squat

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Quads
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, HamstringsAbdominalsAbductorsAdductorsMiddle Back
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Squat

Zercher Squat Instructions

  • Position the bar even with your midsection in the rack or squat stand. 
  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • Get underneath the bar placing is within the crooks of your elbows.
    • DO NOT cross your forearms, this will cause your upper back to round.
  • Walk the bar out position your feet as your would for a regular back squat.
    • Just outside shoulder width with your toes pointing slightly out.
  • To create stability in your hips, screw your feet into the floor and subtly push your knees out.
  • You want your torso in a strong position with your upper back and core tight.
    • Push your hips back slightly and descend into the bottom position. 
    • You will have to push your knees out laterally so your elbows can clear at the bottom of the squat.
      • Something that should be done for all squat variations but a must for the Zercher.
    • Maintain your core tightness.
    • When the crease of your hips reach level with your knee, accelerate back up. 
    • Squeeze your glutes at the top position. 


    • Use a Fat or Axel Bar if you have access to one.
    • If you can only use a regular barbell, wrap a towel around the middle to ease the discomfort of the barbell being in the crook.  
    • Your core will be taxed extremely! Because of the bar placement, you will have to use your core to prevent from falling forward. 
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