This assisted squat is a lower body strength exercise that is suited to those new to squatting, as well as to those who have limited range of motion due to pain or injury.
As a bodyweight only movement using a suspended bar, it is suited to all fitness and ability levels.
It is highly scalable because the bar allows for quick positioning that can make the exercise harder or easier.
Position the bar at head height. Grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and position the feet under the bar; as you lean back, straighten the arms. Keep the hips extended, so you form a straight line with the body. This is the start position.
Keeping the arms straight, allow the hips to move back as if you’re about to sit on a chair. The arms will move to an overhead position as you do this. Squat as far as your range will allow comfortably. Pause at the bottom for a breath, then return to the start position, driving the hips up and forwards.
Repeat for desired reps or time.
In this variation of the squat, the superfunctional bar removes most of the balance requirement for the squat; this allows for a focus on the hip movement, which is key to proper squatting technique. The assisted motion of the arms into an overhead position also helps to recruit the back muscles, which are vital to appropriate squatting.
The use of suspension training can often make people ‘lazy’ in technique. Therefore, during this exercise, it’s essential to push the hips still back as you drop down, and drive them forwards as you come up. This will help to hardwire the proper muscle recruitment when it comes to the unassisted squat.
As you become more skilled or stronger in this movement, you can progress by moving the feet backwards – away from the bar. This way, it will bring you closer to the vertical position of an unassisted squat, until eventually, you can progress to the unassisted (bodyweight) squat.
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