Dead Squats

Have you ever tried Dead Squats?

Basically doing only the concentric part of a squat.

I recently read about it in Josh Bryant’s post How to Win Meets and Influence Squats and Deadlifts:

Dead squats develop rate of force development (RFD), which is how quickly one can develop tension in a muscle. Concentric-only muscle actions, with no negative loading phase, offer huge gains in RFD. There is’t a stretch shortening cycle to help you, so you must develop tension in the muscle quickly if you’re going to get it moving.

Another good point made by kalis in the comments, is using these as teaching tool to

get under the bar, positioning and pushing from mid sole/heel. For beginners its a great way of getting people to activate the glutes (which is severely missed in people lacking hip drive in the squat)

Here is Ed McKelvey doing Dead Squats with bands.

Post your experiences in the comments.

Update: Here ATG reader Glenn with a 405lbs Dead Front Squat.

Via gtg009′s comment

Dead front squats for Olympic lifting seem like they might help with the RFD for getting the bar off the floor as well as keeping you from getting pinned by a clean if you don’t catch the bounce

Damn, you guys are a great inspiration!

  • kalis

    I’ve used these for a while now and I think they are excellent in teaching someone to get under the bar, positioning and pushing from mid sole/heel. For beginners its a great way of getting people to activate the glutes (which is severely missed in people lacking hip drive in the squat)

    • GregorATG

      Good point on the glute activation for beginners. Will add this to the post.

  • Adam

    I am not a fan of these “accessory lifts” for squats. In my opinion; nothing will increase the squat more than just squatting. I see this down my gym (powerlifting and strongman gym) The powerlifters squat once a week and spend more time doing accessory work for the squat! I think most people will see better progression by just full squatting more often.

    • GregorATG

      “nothing will increase the squat more than just squatting”+1.

      I was assuming not going overboard with this (as with all assistance exercises).

  • http://twitter.com/ukiro Ola

    I prefer paused squats, and find them very very helpful. However, I just realized I actually do dead squats after I’ve done front squats to failure; Instead of removing plates to re-rack the bar, I let it rest on the safety pins and just get under to back squat it up. I do that from well below parallel though, the guy in the video starts much higher. Then I do a few max rep back squat sets with my FS max.

    • GregorATG

      Paused squats are great. I sometimes mix them into my 531 5×10 sets.

      Also doing really long (20s-30s) pauses (with a less weight of course) is a good way of improving squat form for inflexible people like me.

      Doing Dead Squats from below parallel sounds brutal.

      • http://twitter.com/ukiro Ola

         Since my FS is 20% below my BS, it’s not that bad. Sure I’m tired at that point since I just failed a FS (Ionly go to failure every once in a while though) but BS loads the muscles differently so I always feel pretty comfortable getting the weight up. Flexibility is the main issue really, getting in proper position down there before you have the weight in its proper place, especially starting so low.

        I have to try long pauses, I’m struggling to find efficient ways to increase ankle flexibility. Finding a way to stretch at the bottom position, where I will actually need the flexibility, might be the most natural way. What weight would you use? 60%?

        • GregorATG

          Wouldn’t go with a specific percentage since it’s not a strength exercise but a weighted stretch.

          See what weight lets you still stand up after sitting in the bottom for 30s.

          Have you tried the “Barbell on Knees Stretch” ?

          http://www.allthingsgym.com/2011/10/hip-and-ankle-stretches-for-olympic-weightlifting/

        • http://www.facebook.com/jdiritto Jeff Diritto

          I’ve never tried it but I think dead squats out of chains would make the flexibility of the start position easier., might take a bit of trail and error to get the ideal chain height

  • gtg009

    Dead front squats for Olympic lifting seem like they might help with the RFD for getting the bar off the floor as well as keeping you from getting pinned by a clean if you don’t catch the bounce

    http://www.ironscene.com/videos/5755/cj-shaw-%28198%29-405×1-bottom-position-front-squat

    • GregorATG

      Whoa! I assume that is you in the video?

      Going to add this to the post.

      • gtg009

        Haha, yeah that was me. Sorry for the stumble forward in the video, I think that was set number 4 or 5 on the night. Doing those type of FS helped me go from a beltess 425 FS to 465 in a few months. Now I’m working on the O-lifts more directly because a 465 FS is pointless if your form is so bad you can only C&J in the mid-300s…

        Thanks for the add to the post!

        • GregorATG

          I hope to lift 465 too… in a couple of years haha.

          Great stuff man,