Jefferson squat


Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius)
  • Synergists: Adductor Magnus, Soleus
  • Dynamic stabilizers (not highlighted): Gastrocnemius, Hamstrings
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Place a loaded barbell on the floor.
  2. Straddle the center of the barbell and stand with your feet shoulder width (or wider) apart. Your feet should be pointing a little out to the sides.
  3. Squat and grasp the barbell, placing one hand in front of you and the other hand behind you.
  4. Keeping your chest up and your back straight, stand and lift the barbell between your legs.

Execution

  1. Keeping your chest up and your back straight, inhale as you squat down at least until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Exhale as you stand back up to the starting position, driving through your heels.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  4. Swap the front and back placements of your hands and repeat the exercise.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your feet flat, your chest up, your back straight, and your shoulders back.
  • Keep your knees and feet pointing in the same direction.
  • Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed between your two legs.
  • Since the barbell is held low, between your legs, the Jefferson squat is much easier on your lower back than the barbell squat.
  • You can use the Jefferson squat as an auxiliary exercise to improve your barbell squat.
  • You can perform the Jefferson squat in a different way. Instead of having the barbell parallel with the direction in which you are facing (as explained above and illustrated in the image), you can hold the barbell perpendicular to your body. In the latter case, your feet will be positioned differently, with the front foot pointing forward and the back foot pointing out to the side. See the second video.
  • Also known as the Jefferson deadlift and straddle deadlift.

Jefferson squat videos

Parallel barbell

Perpendicular barbell


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