Great Squat Variation for Taller Lifters

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Being tall definitely has its advantages and truth be told, I’ve often wished I was a little taller myself, but squatting is one thing where being taller is a disadvantage. Taller people tend to struggle with squats in general, and as a trainer, I struggle to teach them to squat well with good form. Shorter people tend to pick up squats relatively quickly, but for taller people it’s an ongoing battle.

The biggest thing you see with taller people is that they tend to fall forward as they squat down. And once you lose your position on the eccentric, it’s very tough—if not impossible—to get it back, leading to ugly squats that resemble more of good morning.

Generally when I’m working with taller people I’ve found front squats or goblet squats to work better than back squats.

More recently, I’ve also been using “double pause” front squats, and it’s really helped clean up the squat pattern while also giving a great training effect. Pause halfway down in the down in the quarter squat position and then pause again in the bottom position before coming back up. These are great for people who struggle to keep good posture and have a tendency to fall forward during front squats. Pausing halfway down ensures that you’re in the proper position and in control of the weight on the eccentric, and then pausing at the bottom helps to ensure that you’re not bouncing out of the hole. The pauses also make it a lot harder, meaning you won’t be using as much weight as regular front squats, so it’s easier to hold the bar while still giving your legs a great training effect.

Here is a clip of my client Ryan (who is 6’3”) knocking out a set with really nice form.

Of course these aren’t just for taller people and anyone can do them, but I’ve found them to be particularly useful for taller people both as a teaching tool and as a way to get a good training effect for the legs, as the pauses will really challenge you.

Also, if you missed it Monday, check out this simple way to add bands to front squats without a fancy rack.

 

  • Noel Piepgrass

    Hey Ben, what do you think is the benefit of pausing in the middle? I don’t love the way that looks … just feels like a pretty quad dominant, quarter squat. I know you’re having him go all the way down, so maybe it’s just a mental block for me. Anyway, I wanted to ask. Thanks for all the great content.

  • Jakob

    I´m also a bit curious about the pause in the middle. Was talking with a 2 time olympic powerlifter and he sad that the biggest load on the knees appears when you reach the 90degree angle in the knee. As I can see, this is where the person pause. Isn´t here a great risk of stressing the knees a lot?