When training coaches and athletes often select belt squatting for numerous reasons. Applying the load to the pelvis bypasses the upper back and trunk musculature. The rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and biceps femoris have similar stress as if squatting with a barbell. The stresses imposed on the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius are diminished during this movement.
Normally full hip extension is not done during the belt squat exercise, which impacts gluteal activity. Trainers and trainees understand that by controlling movement in the ankle and lower leg the vastus and femoris musculature are brought to greater tension when hip extension is somewhat diminished.
To increase activation of the glutes while belt squatting:
- First limit the movement of the lower leg and ankle while doing a full squat lightly grasping the handles and pause each repetition at approximately 10 degrees from having your legs fully extended.
- The handles in this part of the exercise are only to be used for safety and balance.
- Once you can no longer complete a repetition, firmly grasp the handles and use them to continue squatting allowing your arms to assist in the movement.
- At the completion of each rep, stand tall with your legs and hips fully extended and then return to the bottom position.
- Since the legs are fatigued, the gluteal muscles and arms will be used to assist in finishing the exercise. Managing arm utilization will force the glutes to participate more and get stronger during the movement.
When you want to apply less stress on the low back and trunk
roll the Pit Shark Belt Squat into the Pendulum Rack System and Get Strong.
Belt Squatting on the Pit Shark