What Is A Drop Squat?
A drop squat is a squat variation exercise that emphasizes a deep squat, bringing the body low to the ground. Most people perform this exercise wrong, however. Incorrect drop squat form can lead to knee pain or even injury. When done correctly, however, the drop squat is a great lower body exercise. It’s a great addition to any workout because it helps build strength, increase power, enhance metabolism, and improve functional fitness. Here, we’ll give you what you need to not only do your drop squats with good exercise form, but also how to incorporate them into your workout program.
An exercise like a good drop squat, is one of those secrets you only know if you’re a personal trainer. It’s one of many exercise variations that keep things fresh and people on track with accomplishing goals. Learn more about the secrets trainers know with the EMAC Certified Personal Trainer course.
How Do You Do A Drop Squat?
Most people perform this exercise quickly, explosively, and in a repetitive manner. This form is close. However, a drop squat should emphasize the downward motion of the squat. When allowing gravity to take the squat down too fast, and in such a deep position, you might get problems. This type of fast downward movement can easily cause knee pain, especially if you have other problems like jumpers knee or patellar tendinopathy. If you speed through the entire squat motion, not only are you risking injury, you also aren’t getting the full benefit of this squat exercise.
Drop Squat Technique
The drop squat technique should go like this:
- Start in an upright standing positionwith the feet together.
- Quickly jump out, so the right leg and left leg separate wide and prepare for the descent of the squat (eccentric contraction). This happens before the hip and knee flex. Basically, you’re standing (for a short period of time) with your feet apart and slightly turned out.
- Then, slowly go down into a deep squat. Ideally, go low enough so you can reach one hand to the floor. You can do this slow enough to count to two or three in your head.
- After you are at the bottom of your squat, explode up. Extend through the knee and hip and quickly bring the right and left foot together.
- Return to a standing position and then quickly separate the right leg and left leg again. This prepares you to go back down into the squat again.
Benefits Of The Slow Descent Drop Squat
The biggest mistake most people make is not “putting the brakes on” as you lower to the ground. The timing and coordination can be difficult at first. But, performing your drop squat like this gives you more benefits than constant speed drop squats. Slowing the downward movement:
- Puts more tension on the hamstrings and glutes than going faster.
- Increases lower body strength because of the focus on the downward motion (eccentric contraction).
- Burns more calories because of the time under tension.
- Helps prevent knee injury by teaching the body to control movement against gravity better.
- Offers a variation to the more jarring version of the jump squat.
Is The Drop Squat A Good Exercise?
This exercise is also great because you can build so much strength by performing it with bodyweight alone. The drop squat group of muscles target the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. These are all large muscle groups. This means, the exercise will burn a ton of calories and also build foundational muscular strength to perform more advanced exercises like a barbell squat. This means weightlifters who want to improve their maximum strength can also benefit from this simple body weight exercise. To sum it up, this exercise can help you improve all five components of fitness: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, body composition.
How To Use The Drop Squat
When you first learn to do the exercise, perform it with no weight and learn the technique. Make sure you are able to really explode on the way up but also control the way down. You can incorporate this exercise in these ways:
- As part of cardio in a weight loss workout program using different high calorie burn exercises.
- As part of a power super set where you perform a slower, controlled, and heavier squat first.
- As part of dynamic warm up before a left day strength workout.
- As part of the body of the moderate intensity lower body strength workout.
- Add weight and do a shoulder press at the top for a total body power exercise.
As you improve, you can add more resistance. However, increase the weight only a small amount. For example, try holding a light medicine ball at your chest to increase the resistance. Variations of this exercise that offers similar benefits include:
If you think about it, just about any standard exercise can be done like a drop squat. Think about things like a push up, cable row, and lunge, to name a few. When you’re an EMAC Certified Personal Trainer, exercises and workouts are infinite because you know how the body works in the world of fitness. Enroll Today!