The Squat is one of the most important movements for building lean muscle mass. There is not a single muscle building program that does not involve doing lots of squats. So before we move into this technique, lets first go over some key pointers on squat technique:
To begin, figure out which foot placement you want to use. A feet wider then shoulder width apart stance will hit your large quadriceps muscles on the outside of the upper thighs. This stance will also heavily involve the glutes, hips, and hamstrings.
If you place your feet at shoulder width, you will hit the quadriceps muscles at the front of the upper thighs. This stance will not allow you to use as much weight, and will involve less glute activation.
Start off with focusing on getting your upper thighs parallel to the floor. Focus arching your lower back, as opposed to rounding it. As your form gets better, start doing deeper squats for more muscle recruitement.
Place the barbell on your upper back and trapezius muscle as opposed to the back of your neck while you squat. This is often called the Back Squat, but should be the standard technique of regular squatting.
You may use a cushion to help you, but this will make you feel like you have less control over the weight.
When executing the movement, push your hips back first, and let your knees bend naturally. This will help keep your knees behind your toes and shoulders over toes. If you start to bend forward too much, re-set and lower the weight.
What is the 10-Minute Squat Technique?
Now lets jump into the technique: The 10-minute Squat Technique is exactly what it sounds like. You do as many sets of squats within a 10-minute period. This does not mean that you keep squatting for 10 minutes continuously.
No, with the exception of your first few warmup sets, you want to perform each set for 8-15 repetitions. Keep adding weight to the bar, but stop adding weight when you hit 8 repetitions.
You should be able to perform 5-8 sets within a 10-minute period. Here is an example:
The 10-minute Squat Technique is an advanced technique, and is only recommended for people who can squat 225 lbs or more. Beginners should focus on performing a few sets of squat 1-3 times per week, until you become stronger.
Applications for other Movements
You can use this same technique for other major lifts such as Bench Press, Deadlift, and Barbell Rows. Make sure you do not go to maximum with your lifts. Have a spotter or use a smith machine to ensure safety.
The 10-Minute Squat Technique is one of the many awesome techniques that Craig Ballantyne uses in his Ballantyne’s Day Muscle Massacre workout Program. Click here for more information about this workout.