Gym Shorts: The Paused Squat

New to the paused squat or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

Paused Squat Correct Form

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps:

  • Set Up
    • Same as regular squat
    • Thumbs over bar & wrists straight
    • Hands outside shoulders
    • Bar on the rear delts
    • Gaze 4-6 feet down ahead of you
    • Big breath!
  • Descent
    • Bend over
    • Hips back
    • Knees out
    • Go slow
  • Bottom
    • 2 second pause
    • Stay tight
    • Hold breath
    • No bounce: drive up strict
  • Ascent
    • Knees still
    • Hips straight up

The paused squat is a great squat supplemental lift. It adds stress by effectively increasing the volume stress, as the lifter must hold the bottom position and stay tight. It also removes the stretch reflex that is created from the descent, making the drive up out of the bottom position harder and limiting the weight one can do with a paused squat.

Paused squats help clean up any errors that occur in the bottom position, as you slow down & hold the bottom position, as opposed to driving up immediately upon hitting depth.

Because of the increased length of time each rep takes, we tend to do these for low to medium rep ranges, though a higher rep range will stress not just your muscles but likely your conditioning with the length of time of each rep and the amount of time you have to hold your breath each rep.

We generally add paused squats in to intermediate lifters’ programs, especially those who tend to have errors in the bottom of the squat.

Click HERE to learn more about the best bench press variations, and HERE to learn about the muscles worked in the bench press.

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