Sometimes the best exercise is the one you’re not doing. And why, exactly, is such a great move not part of your training? Probably one of two reasons: either a) you don’t know it exists, or b) it’s so challenging that you’d rather skip it and do something easier.
Recently at The Pit and elsewhere in the strength and conditioning industry we have seen the reemergence of one of the most badass old movements in the gym: The Jefferson Squat.
This unique lower body exercise is arguably one of the toughest movements for our legs to master and one that stimulates muscle tension like never before. The Jefferson is challenging no lie, it places a high amount of tension on the lower body at an angle it is not accustomed to being hit from.
However if you are feeling primal and feel like getting back to an old school movement than read on and master your form today.
What muscles does a Jefferson Squat hit exactly? Primarily like most squats you want maximum tension on your glutes (bum) and quads (thighs). Glutes are the prime movers whilst the quads are assistant.
As a result each rep of a Jefferson should be performed by squeezing the glutes first and extending the knees second from the bottom of the lift. Other muscles that are complimented by the Jefferson’s unique angle include Hip flexors and hamstrings (back of the thigh).
Hip flexors particularly often present as tight in strength trainers making squats behind or forward from the head and the centre of gravity uncomfortable. Jefferson squats solve this by placing the weight directly beneath our centre of gravity without undue effort to correct posture.
So How Do We Do It?
To perform a Jefferson Squat first, take a wide stance and hold the bar between your legs with one hand in front of your body and one hand behind it. Second start to apply tension to your glutes so they are tensed while you squat down to take up the weight.
An important tip is to use small diameter weight plates that won’t raise the barbell too high from the floor, this will allow you to go deeper in the lift.
Throughout the lift it’s key to force your knees out in line with the feet. When you achieve that, it activates your glutes so you keep them under continuous tension throughout the set.
Kai Greene one of the worlds current best bodybuilders loves the Jefferson Squat and has said: “The better I became at doing Jeffersons, the more proficient I got at squatting. I learned how to activate my qlutes, hams, and quads better. Doing Jeffersons – has been crucial to my glute and hip-flexor development”.
There you go guys!! You’ve now learnt how to master the technique of the Jefferson Squat and reap the benefits from this epic exercise.
Look forward to smashing some legs with you guys!
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