Learn to Fail Squatting

On a recent Reddit thread, several users shared tips on how to deal with their fear of death with squats. According to one Redditor, who said he broke a rib while squatting, using a spotter could help. But the easiest way is to practice quitting and doing it in the squat rack, which other users have commented on in the comments.

First, find the depth of the squat and set the safety bars low enough that you can still reach that depth (without pushing the safety locks with each rep), but high enough for you to drop the barbell (without rounding your back in the process). “If the stance has small enough increments, you can place them so they are slightly (about one inch) below the bar when you are at the lowest point of the squat,” writes u / uvbob .

And practice bad squats; descend slowly and let the weight drop onto the belay devices. “You can and probably should practice this multiple times with submaximal weights so that you don’t have to figure it out when you are trapped under a heavy bar,” writes u / brightlinger . In other words, don’t do bad squats with the same weight that you would use to test your one rep max. You can even try to fail with the barbell yourself.

Avoid forward falls because you really don’t want the bar to roll over your neck or head, although the guards will keep you safe. Think of correct movement as sitting in a chair;this video demonstrates how best to do this. (If you do a front squat, the same rules apply, although you don’t have to worry about the barbell rolling over your neck or head unless you literally lean back.)

The next time you sit down, you will be much less afraid of failure, now that you feel comfortable with the movement. If you still have problems, try climbing shoes instead of sneakers. These shoes will provide extra support and make you feel more stable at the bottom of the squat. And if you want to feel safe, always use a squat rack; fuses will help you in a stalemate.


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