Its name might sound a bit funny, but there’s definitely nothing funny about the strength and muscle building results this exercise can deliver when performed correctly. The Zercher squat is an outstanding exercise for developing greater core, back, and leg strength, and is therefore one exercise that should definitely be incorporated into your training regimen at some point. 


Unlike traditional back squats, there is minimal compression on the spine with the Zercher squat, due to the position of the barbell. When performing the movement, it is much easier to maintain an upright posture, which allows for a greater squat depth.

The Zercher squat is also a solid exercise for glutes and hamstrings, as it activates these muscles much more than traditional back or front squats.

How To Do It

  • Set up the bar on a rack.
  • Extend your forearms out in front of your body (bent at elbows) and place the bar on top of upper forearms.
  • Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out.
  • Begin to lower the bar by bending the knees – maintain a straight posture with the head up.
  • Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees.
  • Come back up to the starting position. 

The author of this article, Mehmet Edip is an internationally published fitness writer, actor and competitive athlete. Be sure to watch his latest motivational training video, and follow him on Facebook.