Tempo Back Squat

The Tempo Back Squat is a strength-building exercise that focuses on controlled movements to enhance muscle engagement and stability. By manipulating the speed of the squat, particularly during the eccentric (lowering) phase, this exercise targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core while also improving overall squat form and technique.

Hereโ€™s how to perform a Tempo Back Squat:

  1. Begin by setting up a barbell on a squat rack at shoulder height. Position yourself under the bar, placing it across your upper back (trapezius muscles), and grip the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Stand up to lift the bar off the rack and take a few steps back to clear the rack.
  2. Position your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly turned out. Keep your chest up, core engaged, and maintain a neutral spine. This is your starting position.
  3. Initiate the squat by bending at your hips and knees, lowering your body in a controlled manner. Focus on a slow descent, typically taking about 3-5 seconds to reach the bottom position. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, or lower if your mobility allows.
  4. Pause briefly at the bottom of the squat to eliminate any bouncing or momentum, ensuring your muscles are fully engaged.
  5. Drive through your heels to push yourself back up to the starting position. The ascent can be performed at a regular pace, but aim for a controlled and steady movement.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining the tempo throughout each rep.

Tips for performing the Tempo Back Squat:

  • Keep your chest up and your gaze forward to maintain proper posture and prevent rounding of the back.
  • Engage your core throughout the movement to support your lower back and maintain stability.
  • Focus on maintaining an even weight distribution across your feet, especially driving through your heels during the ascent.
  • Use a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and control during the tempo descent and ascent.
  • Ensure that your knees track in line with your toes to avoid unnecessary strain on your joints.
  • Breathe in as you descend and exhale as you push back up to the starting position.

The Tempo Back Squat is an effective exercise for building strength, enhancing muscle control, and improving squat mechanics, making it a valuable addition to any strength training routine.