Move of the Month:

Zercher Squat

The Zercher Squat, is named after its creator, Ed Zercher, strongman and power lifter from the 1930s.  According to training tales, Zercher’s gym contained not even a single squat rack, meaning that he needed to be inventive when it came to matters of the lower body. Zercher decided to deadlift the bar into his mid-section and begin squatting that way.

A Zercher squat is a front-loaded squat with the barbell placed in the crook of the elbow. The Zercher squat is going to place emphasis on the quads and core because of the way the weight is loaded in relation to the body.

👍 Good Form
❌ Bad Form


  • To set up the Zercher squat, you need to set the rig so that the bar is in line with or slightly below the elbow.

  • Approach the rack and place the bar in the crook of the elbow and assume your normal squat stance.

  • From here unrack the bar and take one big step away from the rack.

  • Keeping the core tight and legs strong, lower your body into a deep squat.

  • To rack the weight, step back into the rack and return the barbell to its starting position.

​Common Mistakes with the Zercher Squat

  • Letting the chest drop at the bottom of the squat or reaching the butt too far back.

  • On the ascent of the squat, failing to keep the core tight or letting the bar lag behind. The bar should stay in the same position relative to the body throughout the entire squat.


  • Squatting to a box if you lack the strength or mobility to lower into a deep squat.

  • If the weight of a naked bar is too much, go back to working on heavier Goblet Squats.