THIS is stopping you from building a huge squat and deadlift
Guys will often ask me, “How can I improve my squat? Why has my deadlift plateaued?”
When I ask them if they train their abs and lower back they look very confused as if to say, “What have my abs and lower back got to do with my squat and deadlift strength?”
They have a lot to do with your squat and deadlift strength, a lot more than you think.
Your erector spinae (lower back) is very active during squats and deadlifts. If you neglect this area of your body your strength potential is limited. It’s what allows you to drive up with greater force during squats. It’s what helps keep your chest upright and back straight when you’re “in the hole” at the bottom of the squat.
As for deadlifts, your erector spinae is recruited to help with the lockout at the top of the deadlift. If it’s weak, you’ll struggle to perform the lockout and you’ll be left feeling frustrated in the gym.
So, how do you get a rock-hard solid lower back and strong abs that sky-rocket your strength on these big lifts?
You train them at a high intensity and you do this often. Three exercises, two for your abs and one for your lower back, three times per week. This is what I do and it has worked wonders for my strength on the squat and deadlift.
Not only that, but having a strong core significantly reduces your risk of injury. A weak core means you’re unstable and when you have an unstable base you are increasing the likelihood of serious injuries.
Now in terms of ab and lower back training, you don’t need to overthink it. These muscles are endurance muscles. You’re supposed to train them in high rep ranges. With that being said, I usually do AMRAP sets (as many reps as possible).
The more often you train them, the stronger they will become and the more reps you’ll be able to do. Having said that, you obviously don’t want to be doing sets of 50+ reps. That’s daft and it would take up too much of your time.
Get to 50 reps on the following exercises: decline crunches, hanging leg raises, russian twists, ab wheel roll outs, Romanian deadlifts and lower back hyper extensions. Once you get to this level of strength then you can start to add resistance, such as a 10kg plate on decline crunches, hanging leg raises, lower back hyper extensions and russian twists.
Alternatively you could change the rep tempo. For example, on ab wheel roll outs, decline crunches and hanging leg raises you could slow down the eccentric (lowering phase) so that it lasts four seconds rather than one second.
Include a combination of these exercises three times per week and you will soon have a very strong core.
Remember. The stronger your core the stronger your squat and deadlift.
You get an ab workout routine when you get The Spartan Program: https://jamesclewlow.com/the-spartan-program-2/