A Great Alternative to Barbell and Dumbbell Squats

Exercise Variation: Low Pulley Cable Squat


This is a great movement for people who have a hard time squatting with a barbell or dumbbells due to poor flexibility, posture, or those who are scared of falling backwards. The cable helps counterbalance the weight of the individual, and can alleviate the fear of falling backwards. Because this variation alleviates the fear of falling backwards, the trainee can focus more on their muscles. This will result in better progress and development!


Squatting is a full body exercise that burns calories, improves the development of your thighs and glutes dramatically, and (depending on the speed and intensity) can be used as a way to help reduce overall body fat.

1. OWN THE MOVEMENT: Never do an exercise with a weight that owns you! This means you are dictating the movement and in control at all times, performing the movement safely and targeting the muscles you want to target. Do not allow the weight to pull you forward without your consent.
2. POSTURE: Always maintain adequate posture! When form breaks down too much or posture becomes defective, it opens up the door to a.) Less tension on the muscle being worked which results in less stimulation, which results further in a lack of development and b.) Susceptibility to injury.
3. CONTRACT: Squeeze the muscles while performing the movement on both the way up and down. Squeeze your way up and down!
. PUSH THE FLOOR AWAY FROM YOU: Instead of thinking of lifting yourself back up after you squat down, think of pushing the floor down away from you. This will help you contract your muscles more from the very start.
. WHERE THE TOES GO, SO SHALL THE KNEES: Whether your feet are facing forward or turned outward, the knees should follow the foot path.
. SQUAT DEPTH (HOW LOW SHOULD YOU GO): This depends on what muscles you are targeting and how low you can go while keeping tension on the muscles you want to focus on. If your focus is on quads, but you shift tension to your glutes so you can squat deeper, well this does nothing for your quads and your essentially resting them. Find your active full range of motion to ensure successful development of the muscles and safe injury free movement.

This movement can target the thighs more, or the glutes/hamstrings more, depending on the position of your torso (more upright versus more forward/bent over). In this video Melissa is performing the squat to target all of the muscles as a whole. The thighs, the glutes and the hamstrings. Her rear delts and upper back also get worked indirectly from her good posture and by keeping her shoulder blades retracted and chest up: http://bit.ly/2pEVl82