1 leg squats (pistol squats)?
Is the belt squat just another squat?
If you look around the internet, you will keep seeing that the belt squat can be used to “squat without loading the spine.” To be honest, I don’t think most people care about that – they just want to squat.
The reality is that adding a belt squat into your gym/weight room/training center/garage gym adds another place to squat differently.
All of the squats listed above are great to add into training. But it gets difficult to figure out when and how to add them in. Sometimes consistency is a really good thing. Sometimes variability is best.
So how do we choose?
The dreaded answer: It depends.
Depends on what?
Who, where, when, how many, what day, what conditions, and why.
Here is what I like about the belt squat:
- Less risk than most squats
- Athletes can still go very heavy
- This squat can truly isolate the lower body
- Allows for form adjustments
- Easy loading/unloading for multiple levels of lifters
- Easier adjustment for different heights of lifters
- Adds another squat station – due to rack system
How do you use belt squats in your program?
Check out the video to see different uses/options.
Apply basic squatting/lifting knowledge to the addition of another station or use the same volume/intensity for upper body injured athletes, without worrying about their upper body.
Every type of squat has a risk, a reward and an appropriate use. Truly, my favorite feature of this belt squat is that it is an attachment within an already-existing rack system.
So if you feel like you are missing something with your athletes, whether it is teaching them good form, loading 1 leg movement or awkward movements, or allowing injured athletes to keep training as heavy and hard as others – the belt squat may be that missing piece!